Culinary Georgia – a 9 day tour from Tbllisi to the wine region Kakheti and to Western Georgia Imereti and to the Black Sea
Georgia is a land of great natural diversity, flanked by the Black Sea to its west and the Greater Caucasus Mountains to its north. Warm seaside towns like Batumi are rich of palm trees and cypresses, breathing a delightful exotic feel, while further inland, the lush Kakheti region and its many miles of vineyards is world-renowned for the quality of its wine.
Situated at the crossroads of East and West, Georgia has fallen within the orbit of many cultural influences and empires. Therefore, Georgian cuisine absorbed the best culinary traditions of many people of Transcaucasia, Asia and the Black Sea coast. The western part of Georgia was affected by Turkish cuisine, the eastern – by Iranian. Therefore, in the western Georgia widespread are the corn flour flat cakes (mchadi), while in the eastern Georgia people prefer white bread baked in huge clay jugs. Georgian cuisine is probably the most important attraction of the country. Georgian food and wine culture is best observed through Supra – traditional feast featuring a wide array of assortment of dishes always accompanied by large amounts of wine, lasting several hours. In a Georgian feast, the role of the tamada (toastmaster) is the most important and honored position.
Georgian wine is another important thing to discover. There is no argument among specialists that the oldest remains of wine making were found in Georgia. In typical clay vases called qvevris archeologists found the remains of grape seeds. They say the oldest ones go back to 6.000 years B.C. These qvevris (or kvevris) are still being used in Georgia to make wine.
The large-scale exhibition dedicated to Georgian viticulture/wine making was conducted in 2017 at the center for wine and civilization in France, city Bordeaux. La Cité du Vin highlighted Georgian wine in a brand new temporary exhibition entitled Georgia, cradle of viticulture. France announced 2017 as the ‘Year of Georgia in Bordeaux’ to recognize Georgia as a country with old traditions and a vast wine culture.
We offer a “Culinary Journey” in the South Caucasus to the delightful country of Georgia where you can try delicious Georgian cuisine with its many traditional dishes and will be able to join in preparation of food.
The journey begins in the capital Tbilisi, continues to the east into the famous wine region of Kakheti. From Kakheti it goes through the central part of the country called Kartli leading to the west into the historical region of Colchis with Kutaisi as its center.
From there we’ll go into the Black Sea region to Batumi and visit the adjacent mountains. Besides the food and drinks, you will also get an interesting insight into the everyday life of the Georgian people.
Number of participants: 4-8
Tour guides: English speaking
Eating and drinking in Tbilisi
You prepare dishes, learn about local food and the Georgian wines
Discovery of the wine region of Kakheti
Old capital Mtskheta
Western Georgia cooking class
The Black Sea region around Batumi
Today you will meet your guide Irma. She will accompany you in the next few days on the culinary journey through Georgia. After breakfast she will take you on a city tour through the friendly city of Tbilisi: Old town, fortress Narikala, Metekhi bridge, Betlemi quarter, Freedom Square and Rustaveli Avenue. In between a small break with a snack and a beverage in a trendy Café. The afternoon will be reserved for an exquisite wine tasting program and introduction to Georgian wine at wine bar 8000 vintages, located in urban part of the town. Welcome dinner in a typical local Georgian restaurant will top off the day. Overnight stay in Tbilisi. B, L, D
After early breakfast we will go to village Teleti at cheese farm, for unique Georgian cheese tasting. No Georgian feast would ever be complete without a good portion of Georgian cheese. There are more than 100 Georgian cheese varieties found by Ana Mikadze-Chikvaidze, who will introduce you to this unique Georgian product in her farm. After that we will drive along a rural scenic route, over the Gombori pass (1690 M) into the wine region of Kakheti. We will visit the German-Georgian winery Schuchmann Wines in Kisiskhevi that has gained an excellent reputation among wine producers. You will have a guided tour at winery, where you can see the individual production steps of traditional Georgian wine making in qvevris as well as using the most advanced technologies of steel tanks. After this there will the opportunity for a relaxed stroll through the village of Kisiskhevi. At night there will be a great wine tasting with Georgian food. Overnight stay at Chateau Schuchmann Wines in Kisiskhevi B, D
Today we will start our trip visiting the local bazaar in Telavi to get groceries we need to prepare our dinner later that day. Then we will go to see the picturesque fortress of Gremi and its church with its 17th century frescoes. When done we will continue our trip to typical Georgian village nearby to visit a local family in Gelati. Here we’ll learn to make the typical Georgian dumplings “khinkali” in different variations. Along with khinkali we will do such outstanding Kakhetian dishes as Chakapuli (lamb stew), will bake a bread in a traditional clay oven – tone and prepare Georgain sweets called Churchkhela. We will have Dinner at local farmer’s house with homemade wine. Driving back to Kisiskhevi, overnight stay at Chateau Schuchmann Wines. B, L
Drive to the beautifully restored fortified town of Sighnaghi, which is called city of love. After a stroll through the city we’ll visit a traditional local wine cellar to have a wine tasting there (Pheasant’s tears), which will be followed with lunch. Then we’ll do a two-hour drive heading west to the historical capital of Georgia Mtskheta. On the way we stop to buy meat and all needed groceries to have a nice picnic and Georgian barbeque called mtsvadi. If weather isn’t good, we will continue our trip directly to Mtskheta and have a dinner at local restaurant. Overnight stay at hotel in Mtskheta. B, L, D
After a breakfast we will take a tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mtskheta. Visit Svetitskhoveli cathedral where robe of Christ is buried and also visit Jvari monastery. Then we will drive to Chardakhi to have a wine tasting at famous wine maker Iago Bitarishvili’s wine cellar. We will try wines from local grape variety called Chinuri – made in traditional Georgian way at Kvevris. Wine tasting will be followed by delicious lunch. Then we will continue our trip to the ancient city of Uplistsikhe located near the Georgian Silk Road. Uplistsikhe itself is an impressive monument of the pre-Christian civilizations living in the South Caucasus over 2000 years ago. A local guide will give us a tour around the site. We will continue to Western Georgia to the hospitable region of Imereti. Dinner at local restaurant in Kutaisi. Overnight stay in Kutaisi B, L, D
Today your guide Irma will take you to the colorful Kutaisi bazaar to get the ingredients and Georgian spices for a cooking class in a typical Imeretian family kitchen in village Vartsikhe. Here we will have small introduction to Georgian spices along with tasting and then will learn how to prepare local Imeretian dishes – Khachapuri, Tabaka (roast chicken) in blackberry sauce, corn bread (mchadi), pkhali nigvziani (vegetables in walnut paste) and etc. We’ll eat together with the family and drink some of the famous local Imeretian wines such as Tsitska and Tsolokouri. Overnight you will stay in Kutaisi. B, L
After breakfast our first stop will be at the famous monastery of Gelati. During the 11th and 12th century this was the intellectual, scientific and political center of Georgia. We will continue our trip to the Black Sea coast. On the way we will stop at tea factory at region Guria where we will have short introduction to Georgian tea along with small tour and tea tasting. We will have a lunch near Ureki. From there we’ll go to the beautiful seaport town Batumi. Resting at the hotel. Later in the evening we will have the food in a typical Adjarian restaurant, famous Adjarian Khachapuri, saltwater fish, and Baklava (sweets). Overnight stay in Batumi. B, L, D
Batumi is an ancient city of merchants and sailors of multiple origins: Lazians, Georgians, Romans, Greeks, Jews, Turks, Russians, Armenians, Balts, Ukrainians and more. This colorful melting pot characterizes Batumi’s kitchen in which not only fish plays a substantial role but also interesting salads and meat dishes. We will start the day with a stroll through Batumi and along the promenade. We can stop at seaport café to have famous Turkish coffee prepared on a sand. After that we will visit fish market in Batumi where we will buy fresh fish from the black sea and continue our trip to Adjarian mountains located in an offshoot of the Lower Caucasus. This area is settled by Georgian muslims. At 800 meters above from the sea level in the village Gobroneti we’ll visit local farmer’s house to get learn a different kind of Georgian people and their ways of cooking. Typical dishes are fondue called “Borano”, Achma (another kind of Georgian Khachapuri, lasagna type) and fish. Overnight stay in Batumi. B, L
At breakfast we have the opportunity to reflect on last week’s experiences and impressions. Depending on your plans we will organize your transport either to Batumi or to Tbilisi airport. B
English speaking guide
All transfers to / from Tbilisi / Batumi, accommodation, entrance fees
Full Board: as indicated in program B – Breakfast, L – Lunch and D – Dinner
Welcome dinner in a typical Georgian restaurant on the first evening
4 Wine tastings in the wineries of Kakheti and Kartli regions
3 cooking classes
3 market walks
2 overnights in Tbilisi Hotel 3*
2 overnights in at Kisiskhevi Hotel 3-4*
1 overnight in Mtskheta Hotel 3-4*
2 overnights in Kutaisi Boutique hotel 3*
2 overnights in Batumi Hotel 3*
Travel by minibus, 4WD or car, depending on the requirements
Subject to minor changes in the itinerary, in consultation with the guests
Our companies bank account is in Germany, where you can easily transfer.
The tour price does not include the flight from your home country to Georgia and back
The ideal would be an open jaw flight with Turkish Airlines, arrival in Tbilisi and departure from Batumi. Alternatively, you can book a return flight to Tbilisi with an airline of your choice