A wine journey of 8 days to the fascinating wine culture of Georgia in the Caucasus with the team of Kaukasus-Reisen
Rkatsiteli, Kisi, Tsolikouri, Saperavi, Odzhaleshi, Mtsvane, Takveri, Shavkapito, Tsitska – for wine aficionados this is paradise…
Georgia and its wines are inseparably connected with each other. Wine truly is the very basis of the Georgian culture. Recent archaeological findings have shown that wine was produced in Georgia as far back as 8000 years ago and therefore is considered to be the cradle of wine making. It makes the connection between the ancient history, the Christian Georgia and modern Georgia. In the 4th century Saint Nino cleverly connected Christianity and wine by making a cross out of grape-vines. Coming from Palestine she made a pilgrimage to Georgia preaching Christianity in the country and at the royal house. She convinced King Mirian who in the year 337 AD (in Mzcheta, then Georgia’s capital) declared the new religion as its state religion.
The wonderful red and white table wines are the basis for the Georgian feast, the so-called „Supra“ ( სუფრა), supervised by a master of ceremonies or „Tamada“ ( თამადა) and accompanied by many specified toasts.
The Tamada for the night is picked among the guests before the feast starts. He will speak out the toasts that can be approved but also changed by the other guests. The toasts are made in a specific order. First to the well-being of the family that was invited. Also toasts to Georgia and to the remembrance of the deceased and national heroes are made. This is done out of respect for the motherland and to honor the dead. As the night progresses more toasts are made to the parents, friends, relatives, the past, the future, nature and more.
Our goal of this journey is to introduce you to the Georgian traditions, to show you the beautiful Georgian wines and food and to make you familiar with the Georgian culture, the country, the people, the language, the religion and the Georgian way of living.
To burn a couple of calories there will be an adventurous trip to Stepantsminda in the Greater Caucasus including a nice hike in beautiful surroundings. Later during the tour there will be an option to hike when we visit the David Garedji monastery in Kakheti.
Upon your request
Number of participants: any
Total Length of Tour: 8 days
Visa: not required for most countries, just a valid passport
Please note: flight tickets to and from Georgia are NOT included
Highlights of the Tour:
Introduction into the Georgian wine culture and the history of wine, wine tastings
Visit to the German-Georgian Chateaus Schuchmann Wines in Kisiskhevi
Georgia’s culture, religion and traditions, wining and dining the way the Georgians do it
Visits to museums, churches and bazaars
Two hikes through Georgia’s most beautiful landscapes
Ride to the steppe region to the monastery of David Garedji
Ride into the Greater Caucasus along the Georgian military highway to Stepantsminda (Kazbegi) and to the Darial gorge
Visit to Chateaus Mukhrani near Mzcheta and the antique mosaic of Dzalisi
Brief description of the tour
This fascinating wine journey starts in the impressive Georgian capital Tblisi or Tiflis to be continued into the most beautiful landscapes of Georgian viticulture: the wine region Kakheti, in the steppe of David Garedji, in the picturesque little village of Signaghi and the princely estate of Zinandali.
Visits to Chateaus Schuchmann Wines, the region’s capital Telawi, the Academy of Ikalto, the Alaverdi monastery, the Gremi fortress, the wine villages of Napareuli und Kvareli and the high mountain region near Stepantsminda will make this journey unforgettable.
The completion will be a visit to the vineyard Chateau Mukhrani and the viewing of the antique mosaics of Dzalisi.
You will get to know and try famous Georgian wines made by various manufacturers, notably Rkatsiteli, Tsinandali, Mtsvane, Schala wine, Saperavi and Mukuzani. And of course you well get acquainted with the delicious Georgian cuisine with its many different salads, vegetables, extraordinary appetizers and main dishes
Finally, visits to important museums, churches and bazaars will show you the diversity of the country and will give you a lasting impression of the beauty of Georgia.
Day 1. Saturday
The Georgian capital Tbilisi (Tiflis)
Arrival at Tbilisi, transfer to your accommodation.Tbilisi city walking tour with an English speaking guide: the freedom square, the restored and still non-restored parts of old town, the Sioni church, the synagogue and the mosque, the “impregnable” fortress of Narikala, the beautiful modern boulevard Rustaweli-Prospekt. late afternoon: wine tasting in a couple of Tiblisi’s many old town’s wine shops. Welcome evening in a typical Georgian restaurant with great food and the famous Georgian wines. Overnight stay in a nice 3* hotel in the heart of Tbilisi
Day 2. Sunday
Steppe monastery David Garedji and fortress town of Signaghi
70 km drive to the picturesque steppes and mountain ranges to the monastery of the hermit David Garedji, secluded in the semi-desert of Udabno at the Azerbaijani border. Two-hour walk along the caves with frescoes made between the 10th to 13th century and a breathtaking view on the almost biblical appearing vast landscape of the border region between Georgia and Azerbaijan.
Picnic in a beautiful location in the undulating steppe country. One-hour drive to Signaghi. Wine Tasting in the Old Town Studios of the American artist John Wurdeman and his wine brand called “Pheasant Tears”.
Overnight stay in a nice hotel in Sighnaghi
Day 3. Monday
The Wine Museum in Velistsikhe and the German-Georgian winery Schuchmann Wines in Kisiskhevi
Today we’ll visit Mrs Nunu’s Wine Museum in Velistsikhe where we can immerse ourselves in the long tradition of Georgian wine growing. Next will be a visit to the German-Georgian winery Schuchmann Wines in Kisiskhevi that has gained an excellent reputation among the wine Georgia’s wine producers.
The highlight is a visit to the production facilities in a guided tour by the cellarer. Here 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 in the Schuchmann winery. Overnight stay at Chateau Schuchmann Wines in Kisiskhevi
Day 4. Tuesday
Tsinandali and Teliani Valley
Under the supervision of the prince and poet Alexander Tschwatschawadze Tsinandali developed as the center of Georgian culture and Kakhetian wine growing.
The castle is now a small museum showing us the way of living of the Georgian princes. The beautiful park with its age-old trees and lush meadows is perfect for a walk. We will continue our trip and drive to one of the largest vineyards in the Kakheti region called “Teliani Valley” where we will be invited for wine tasting.
Dinner and overnight stay at Chateau Schuchmann Wines in Kisiskhevi.
Day 5. Wednesday
Telavi – Alaverdi Cathedral – Ikalto- Tbilisi
We will visit the colorful farmers bazaar of Telavi where you can find lots of motives for taking pictures. Next a drive to the impressive cathedral of Alaverdi. This is the second highest church in Georgia after the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Tbilisi. The architecture of Alaverdi is very typical for the Kakheti Region. The monastery is also a producer of delicious wines. Return via the Gombori Pass to Tbilisi. Leisure time. Overnight say in Tbilisi.
Day 6. Thursday
A drive along the Georgian Military Highway in the Greater Caucasus to Mount Kazbek and Stepantsminda
Once in Georgia a trip to the Greater Caucasus is definitely a must.
Today we’ll be driving along the Georgian Military Highway over the Cross Pass on the north side of the Caucasus to the quiet town of Stepantsminda located 10 kilometers before the Georgian-Russian border. Here we can see the legendary Church of the Trinity Sameba with in the background the huge Kazbek, with its 5033 meters one of the most impressive mountains of the Caucasus. We’ll take SUVs to drive up to the church at 2150 meters and enjoy the stunning panorama view. For lunch we’ll have typical Georgian Khinkali. Overnight stay in Stepantsminda.
Day 7. Friday
Chateau Mukhrani and Mtskheta
Beautiful trip to the wine producer Chateau Mukhrani: http: //www.mukhrani.com/ 40 km west of Tbilisi in the Mtskheta region. Visit to the ancient mosaic of the excavations of Dzalisi. A guided tour through the production facilities of Mukhrani followed by wine tasting. Drive to Mtskheta, the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Iberia. Farewell dinner in a typical Georgian restaurant. Overnight stay in Tbilisi.
Day 8. Saturday
Transfer to the airport
Travel arrangements according to the program
English speaking guide
All transfers, travel by a comfortable van
All overnight stays, entrance fees
Half board: breakfast and dinner when in the regions, snacks and picnics according to the program
Welcome dinner in a Georgian restaurant on the first night
Farewell dinner “Georgian feast” on the last night
Wine tasting in Sighnaghi at “Pheasant Tears”
Wine tasting at the Schuchmann winery in Kakheti
Wine tasting at Teliani Valley
Wine tasting at Chateau Mukhrani
4 overnights in Tbilisi: 3* Hotel
1 overnight in Sighnaghi: 3* Hotel
2 overnights in Kisiskhevi: 3* Hotel at the Schuchmann winery
1 overnight in Stepantsminda: 4* Rooms Hotel Kazbegi
or call me directly
00995 599 5705554 Hans Heiner Buhr