The 3 countries of the South Caucasus region comprise a small strip of land between the Caspian & Black Seas and are all the stand between 3 great world powers of Russia, Turkey & Iran. Granted 2 of them aren’t what they used to be, but they remember their greatness and power and still try to stir the pot when they can.
These 3 countries have a history of being batted around by larger powers traveling through the region like a cat bats around a ball of yarn. Sadly, Armenia & Azerbaijan don’t get along with each other, because solidarity between the 3 of them would be a big help.
A few notes on each one.
Azerbaijan is the only Muslim country of the 3, but it is moderate. Not surprisingly it is rich with Caspian oil and Baku, the capital, shows signs of great activity. They do have a modest wine industry, but my tour guide kept bringing up Georgia whenever I would ask about wine.
Georgia was a breath of fresh air – land of pork & wine – after Azerbaijan. World’s oldest wine region and I could have had it for breakfast as plentiful as it was. Too bad they export mostly to Russia so there’s very little left over for the good ol’ USofA. This was my favorite stop. Georgia mostly sits on the world stage asking to just get along with everyone. Meanwhile Russia occupies 20% of its territory. Still they need that trade for their economy.
Armenia is the oldest Christian country in the world and is known for its brandy. They also make a lot of wine. It is a very mountainous region which is probably why it wasn’t taken over permanently by Turkey or another country.