Georgia is the oldest wine-making country in the world. Here, the beverage making process counts at least 8,000 years. The Georgian traditional wine-making process is different from the rest of the world and involves clay jars called qvevri. A couple of year’s ago, the Tourism Agency developed a project to popularise wine tourism in the country and constructed signs along the nation’s highways to indicate Wine Route. Here’s our guide to some of the best wine tasting tours in Georgia.
Chateau Mere is located in Kakheti, one of the most popular wine-making regions of the country, in the village Vardisubani. It produces the Winiveria wines that are widely accessible in Tbilisi and the rest of the country. You can come here for a wine tasting tour to learn more about how they make wines with European and traditional techniques, or even stay for a night or two at their hotel to make your time here even more special. Besides, regular tours, Chateau Mere offers some additional services such as churchkhela making, culinary master classes, tone bread baking, khinkali making, chacha distillation and horse riding tours.
Pheasant’s Tears Winery
This Georgian-American joint venture makes one of the best natural wines using a traditional qvevri method at its vineyards out of Sighnaghi. The company offers wine tastings and tasty Georgian meals prepared from organic, fresh, local produce to enjoy at their beautiful garden.
Schuchmann Chateau is located in Kisiskhevi, Kakheti region and besides its wine cellar has a large complex that consists of a hotel, restaurants, vineyards, and wine spa with a view over the snow-covered Caucasus Mountains. If you are not looking to stay in the Chateau, you can still come here to try the company’s wines accompanied with local traditional meals at the restaurants, walk around the vineyards and just enjoy your day. There are five packages of wine tastings offered at the venue, with different prices. The smallest package includes three types of wine at 15 Lari ($7) per person.
Nella patria del vino da millenni, tra i monti del Caucaso e il mar Nero, in diverse regioni del paese (qui nel Kakheti) le vigne sono a perdita d’occhio. Le degustazioni e i brindisi sono all’ordine del minuto! Qui ci hanno offerto due tipi di bianco molto ambrato e un rosso, tutti fermentati in enormi anfore di argilla cotta (qvevri) per periodi differenti; il tutto abbinato a pane fatto in casa (i Georgiani sono panificatori eccezionali), formaggio di pecora e mucca e churchkhela, un dolce tipico che sembra una candela preparato con farina, mosto e noci… Ora sì che si ragiona: vado a festeggiare! #uncommontravel #visitgeorgia
Alexander Chavchavadze Palace
Alexander Chavchavadze was one of the most influential figures in Georgian history. His palace and gardens are a must. Visit the place during your trip to Kakheti region – its wine cellar is one of the oldest in the county. You can tour the palace, admire the garden and try some of the excellent wines from the Chavchavadze estate.
Telavi Wine Cellar Tour
Telavi Wine Cellar, or Marani in Georgian, offers a wine tasting tour each day from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. The tour lasts around 1.30-2 hours and shows you the route of the grape from the vineyard to the cellar and then to the finished product. You will have the possibility to see the actual process of winemaking, fermentation and barrel aging rooms. After the tour, you will be able to try seven different wines from the company that will be accompanied by traditional cheese, mineral water, and bread. The company also offers a smaller tour that lasts for 60-80 minutes but shows you everything that the longer tour does. The only difference here is that you’ll be given four different wines to sample during the tasting session after the visit.
Winery Khareba Wine Tour
In Kvareli, located in Kakheti region, there’s a unique tunnel wine cellar of Winery Khareba curved in the Caucasus Mountains. The tunnel was initially opened in 1962 for the World Congress of Vine and Wine, but today is the company’s cellar.
The shaft consists of two main entrances that are connected to 500 metres of additional 13 tunnels. The total length of the construction is 7.7 kilometres, and each entry has its purpose: one is for tourism and another for industrial use. Here, you can see a storage unit of 25,000 wines produced by the company.
Vita Vinea Wine Tour
Vita Vinea wines come from a small family winery located in the village Shalauri, near Telavi in Kakheti region. The family of Dakishvili has been producing wine and growing grapes for almost ten decades. The variety of their products include Rkatsiteli, Saperavi, and Kisi from the grapes that grow in their vineyards. You can’t find their wines in ordinary supermarkets or shops, as they distribute their products directly to some of the best Georgian restaurants and wine shops. You can visit their winery by appointment. The family will be happy to tour you around and offer a tasting session of old and new wines from their cellar.
Twins Old Cellar Wine Tour
Twins Cellar, located in Napareuli village in Kakheti, offers a wide variety of activities to its visitors. Brothers Gia and Gela Gamtkisulashvili are in charge of the winery and have created a unique museum of qvevri wine in 2014 at their complex. Here, you can see and learn more about the winemaking process in those clay jars, look at archival photos, see the 15-year collection of Twins Winery and get information about the types of Georgian grapes. Besides the venue’s wine tasting and tour, you can participate in the harvest process if you happen to visit Georgia in autumn.
Wine Tour at Chelti
Chelti offers different wine tours all year round. Located in Shilda village in Kakheti region, the venue overlooks Alazani Valley and the Caucasus Mountains range. During the tour, you’ll be able to see the winery and taste some of the best wines from different harvests, walk in the cellar, and attend the bottling process. Additionally, you can have a dinner at the restaurant, take the participation of tone bread and churchkhela making. And if you happen to be in Georgia during the harvest season, you can come here to take part in the process.