Wine Tours in Georgia
Wine tours in Georgia present a unique section of the tourism industry, which can be found only in several corners in the world. It’s like visiting a museum, though you are learning new things not only about ancient things and belongings, but also about wine. In addition, you have the chance of tasting it. It can be a lot of fun, huh?
The most popular destination for Georgian wine tours is Kakhetian region, because there are many wineries in this area and different kinds of wine are produced here as well. When you ask to organize a wine tour to Kakhetian region or want to arrange the tour by yourself, you should include visiting the popular touristic destinations also. Otherwise, it doesn’t make sense to go to this region and miss many sightseeing places. It will be good to include visiting Gremi castle, Nekresi Monastery and Sighnaghi city on your way.
Photo by Ilona Margalitadze
So, what to expect of a wine tour? The usual scenario will look like this: you are visiting a certain spot, getting to know the types of grape and wines produced in the area, which methodology is used for producing them, later tasting it and if you are lucky enough there might be a little bit food as well. Wine tours to villages and to wineries are quite different in terms of the information you get, the atmosphere you experience and number of wines you can taste.
For example, if you choose to visit rural areas, see villages where the grapes are grown and wines are made, you will have less formal information about the production process and methodology used, but you will experience authentic Georgian village atmosphere, hospitable people who will definitely offer you the amount of tasty and organic food you would never manage to eat. However, they will insist you’d help yourself. Still, in villages you won’t get academic info about wine processing. There won’t be wide variety of wines, instead, they will offer you two or three types of wines (Saperavi and Rkatsiteli). If you manage to arrange the wine tour in September, you might be lucky and witness how the grapes are gathered, stored and processed. In this case consider that wine tour will take you much longer.
Photo by Ani Melikyan
If you choose to visit wineries, you will get academic knowledge and have more formal tour. In some wineries there are wine museums, also you can buy some souvenirs and branded bottles. Among Kakhetian ones the most famous is situated in Tsinandali village, near Chavchavadze Museum.
Usually, you can arrange a regular wine tour in one day. As what to prices, they vary, depending in the number of tourists and the type of tour you will prefer. Wine tasting at the winery will cost from 7- 35 GEL ($3-19), depending what is included in the tour itself (tasting, guide tour, presents, etc). One day tour in Kakhetian region including all options mentioned above will approximately cost $300-350 for two persons.
Photo by Rita Willaert
Anyway, before going on a wine tour, set specific goals what would you prefer: wineries or village visit? Depending on your decision you will have very different experience in every sense.