There has been wine in Georgia almost as long as there have been Georgians. Grapevine has been cultivated in the fertile valleys of Georgia for about 8000 years. With over 500 varieties of endemic grapes and the world’s first cultivated grapevines, the traditions of viticulture are entwined with the country’s national identity. It’s also believed that the word “wine” is of Georgian origin (“ღვინო” – “ghvino” in Georgian). All over Georgia, archaeologists have found ancient wine presses and clay vessels, proving that viticulture has been practiced here at least since the 5th-4th millennia BC.

Georgians have a special method of making wine in stone presses and then storing it in clay vessels sunk in the ground. Even today many houses in the country have a wine cellar – the so-called “Marani” with a wine-press and underground clay jars – “Qvevri”. Unlike the European way of wine-making that implies separation of juice from grapes after pressing, Georgians keep juice and grapes together for some time before separating them. This is what gives Georgian wine its special flavor and strength.

Wine is an inseparable part of the traditional Georgian feast. At Georgian table toasts are made by a toast-master or “Tamada” and wine is drunk from a clay cup or a horn called “Kantsi”. Folk songs are also frequently sung at table.

In this tour you travel to the wine-growing region of Kakheti in East Georgia and the province of Imereti where you can taste different wines. You will see how wine is made in local families and in bigger wineries and how it is stored. In addition to this you will soon become acquainted with the traditions of the Georgian feast – making toasts and drinking wine from special vessels.

Map

Itineraries

Dates

Best period for this trip: September-October

Additional Information

Ladies require scarves in the Georgian orthodox churches, sometimes skirts too, but they can find some in the entrances.

Short trousers are forbidden in the church.

You can bring along: sun cream, hat, rain - and wind coats, etc.

For some program points comfortable shoes are needed.