A Beautiful Stay in Georgia's TuscanyWith its medieval churches and soft rolling hills covered by vineyards, Kakheti is Georgia’s answer to Tuscany. Among the region’s most charming places to stay is Chateau Mere, located near Telavi, the largest city in Kakheti. The place calls itself a chateau, but the quaint, turreted, rough-hewn stone complex feels slightly like a ramshackle estate of an eccentric, over-hospitable uncle who treats hotel guests like friends. Owner George Piradashvili is gregarious (even by Georgian standards) and is the entrepreneur behind the excellent Winiveria winery. He opened the hotel in 2011 because he wanted a place for his friends, who are mostly Georgian musicians and actors, to stay in. The living room is crammed with photos of Georgian celebrities who usually stay here, along with a piano, antlers galore, Georgian textiles, and an antique gramophone that all create a homey feel. The 15 guestrooms have pine floors and tasteful, minimal furnishings. Most guests prefer to hang out by the pool or on the terrace, taking in the romantic views of the lush Alazani Valley and the dramatic Caucuses mountains beyond, drinking the owner’s juicy Saperavi wines or the aromatic white Khikhvi, and tasting his house-cured meats and stringy, briny artisanal cheeses. The hotel also arranges grape-picking and crushing activities, cheese-making and bread-baking demos, and horse riding. Piradashvili also owns the romantic lakeside Royal Batoni hotel.