Rtveli Grape Harvest

Experience the joy of harvest in the heart of Georgian wine country

Detailed Description

Overview

Difficulty
Comfort
Tbilisi   Kakheti  
Destination
Food & Wine
Tour type
September — October
Period
7 days
Duration
6-12
Group
12+
Age
GT014
Program code

Dive into a seven-day extravaganza with our Rtveli Celebration Tour, set in Georgia’s wine heartland, Kakheti. This trip is a gateway to an 8,000-year-old winemaking legacy, entwining with rich cultural heritage. It's not just a tour, it's a journey - a journey where you don't just visit, you participate, you engage, and you immerse.

Travel to the core of artisan winemaking - where age-old customs meet warm-hearted hospitality. From plucking grapes in a rustic vineyard to the high-spirited foot stomping of the harvest, you'll be at the center of this time-honored celebration.

Next, we'll whisk you away to a home winery. Crafting fewer than 15,000 bottles per year, this isn’t just a winery, it's a passion project. Rub shoulders with the winemaker. Learn. Taste. Delight in the unique qvevri wines.

But it's not all about wine. The heart of Georgian culture beats in its cuisine. Step into a local kitchen and master the art of making Khinkali, Georgia's soul-warming soup dumplings. Savor home-cooked meals, each a gastronomic adventure, expertly paired with our curated wines.

Further into our trip, a qvevri builder awaits. Witness the birth of these ancient winemaking vessels. Feel the craftsmanship, the tradition, the love that goes into each creation.

We'll then pivot to the modern at a high-class wine estate. Here, taste the dance of old and new – wines from Georgian grapes, made in both the qvevri and European styles. All this, while indulging in gourmet dishes crafted by the estate's chef.

To wrap up our tour, we head to the scenic Gombori mountain pass. Amidst nature's beauty, taste artisan honey straight from the hive. Sweet, isn't it?

So come on, join us. Our Rtveli Celebration Tour isn't just a trip, it's a voyage into Georgia's 8,000-year wine history. It's a celebration of life, heritage, and the joy of harvest. Pack your bags, your unforgettable journey awaits.

Itinerary

Day 1 — Arrival in Tbilisi

Welcome to Georgia! Our team will meet you at Tbilisi International Airport and escort you to your hotel. After a long journey, take the rest of the day to relax and settle in. Feel free to explore the local dining scene at your own pace. Overnight stay in Tbilisi.

Route: Tbilisi

Accommodation: Included Old Meidan Tbilisi by Urban Hotels * Or similar | Hotel | Comfortable accommodation, private WC & shower

Meals: breakfast: not included, lunch: not included, dinner: not included

Guide: 1 h

Day 2 — Exploring Tbilisi

Our exploration of Tbilisi begins with a visit to the historic Metekhi Church and the Vakhtang Gorgasali monument. From there, we'll stroll through the contemporary Rike Park before taking a cable car ride up to Narikala Fortress. The ascent offers panoramic views of Tbilisi's old town and the Mtkvari River. Descending back to the city, we'll venture into Abanotubani, the historic district known for its sulfur baths. We continue our journey through Tbilisi's vibrant streets, making our way to the lively Shardeni Street, followed by a visit to the significant Sioni Cathedral and Anchiskhati Basilica. We will also visit the newly renovated wine museum, where you can learn about the history of wine. After a lunch stop, we'll take a stroll along Rustaveli Avenue, one of the city's main thoroughfares, lined with cultural and architectural landmarks. Post this, you'll have free time to discover more of the city at your own pace. In the evening, you have the optional opportunity to attend a performance of Georgian polyphonic singing, a unique cultural experience. Overnight stay in Tbilisi.

Route: Tbilisi

Activities: City Walking | 3 hours , Sightseeing | 3 hours

Accommodation: Included Old Meidan Tbilisi by Urban Hotels * Or similar | Hotel | Comfortable accommodation, private WC & shower

Meals: breakfast: included, lunch: not included, dinner: not included

Guide: Full day

Visited Attractions*: Meidani Square, Narikala Fortress, Metekhi Church, Rike Park, Sioni Cathedral, Rustaveli Avenue, Abanotubani, Tbilisi Wine Museum, Sulfur Baths, Freedom Square.

Day 3 — Travel to Kakheti

On the third day, we embark on our journey to the Kakheti region, the heart of Georgia's wine country. We'll visit the Bodbe Monastery, nestled amidst lush greenery. Afterwards we will visit the Master of Qvevri, we step into the world of a local qvevri builder. Witness firsthand the craftsmanship that goes into making these traditional earthenware vessels, a testament to Georgia's winemaking legacy. There we will taste his wines and have lunch in a family atmosphere. Next we will visit the historic town of Sighnaghi. Known as the “City of Love”, Sighnaghi is renowned for its beautiful Italian-style architecture, cobblestone streets, and impressive city walls. The town also offers breathtaking views of the Alazani Valley and the Caucasus mountain range. Dinner will be at Sighnaghi's finest restaurant, a vineyard known for producing wines fermented in traditional Georgian qvevri vessels. Overnight stay in Sighnaghi.

Route: Tbilisi — Private car | 180 km · 2 h 30 min Sighnaghi

Activities: Sightseeing | 2 hours , City Walking | 1 hours

Accommodation: Included Hotel Brigitte * Or similar | Hotel | Comfortable accommodation, private WC & shower

Meals: breakfast: included, lunch: included, dinner: not included

Guide: Full day

Visited Attractions*: Bodbe Monastery, Sighnaghi Wall.

Day 4 — Visit to a Family-owned Vineyard

Today, we're going to delve deeper into the beauty of the Alazany Valley. We'll begin with a visit to the extraordinary Khareba winery, renowned for its unique wine tunnel. Next, we'll venture to the majestic Gremi Church Complex. This fortress, perched atop a hill and encircled by fortified walls and towers, was once the vibrant capital of Kakheti. Here, you'll find the Church of the Archangels Michael and Gabriel, a royal citadel, a bell tower, and a wine cellar. From there, we'll head to the heart of the Kakheti region - Telavi, where we'll enjoy lunch. Post lunch, we'll tour the enchanting Tsindandali estate, known for its verdant gardens. To conclude the day, we'll savor dinner and indulge in a premium wine tasting at the Shumi winery. Our overnight stay will be in Telavi.

Route: Sighnaghi — Private car | 120 km · 2 h Telavi

Activities: Sightseeing | 2 hours , City Walking 45 minutes , Wine Tasting | 2 hours 30 minutes

Accommodation: Included Green hotel ANG * Or similar | Hotel | Comfortable accommodation, private WC & shower

Meals: breakfast: included, lunch: not included, dinner: not included

Guide: Full day

Visited Attractions*: Tsinandali Palace, Khareba Winery Tunnel, Shumi Winery, Gremi Castle, Telavi Bazaar, Giant Plane Tree, Monument of Erekle II.

Day 5 — Rtveli Celebration

Day five of our journey will be a celebration of traditional Georgian viticulture, starting with a visit to a local family-owned vineyard. Here, you'll meet the winemaker and immerse yourself in their unique winemaking traditions and techniques. Your hands-on experience includes pre-harvest activities, such as cleaning the vineyard, checking the ripeness of the grapes, and preparing the equipment and materials for the harvest. This offers a unique insight into the painstaking work and dedication that goes into each bottle of Georgian wine. As the day progresses, we will partake in the highlight of the tour, the Rtveli celebration. This is a day-long grape harvest where you'll experience the exhilaration of this age-old tradition. You'll be picking grapes alongside local workers, engaging in the traditional grape stomping, and witnessing the commencement of the winemaking process. After a morning of hard work, we'll indulge in a family-style lunch at the vineyard, serving you a taste of authentic Georgian hospitality. In the evening, relax and immerse yourself in the local culture with a performance of folk music and dance. The day culminates in a grand feast accompanied by more traditional music, dance, food, and of course, plenty of wine, celebrating the joy of the harvest. We'll cap off this memorable day with an overnight stay in the heart of the Kakheti region, Telavi.

Route: Telavi — Private car | 40 km · 30 min Kvareli — Private car | 40 km · 30 min Telavi

Activities: Masterclass | 1 hours , Wine Tasting | 1 hours , Rtveli Celebration | 3 hours , Food Tasting | 2 hours

Accommodation: Included Green hotel ANG * Or similar | Hotel | Comfortable accommodation, private WC & shower

Meals: breakfast: included, lunch: included, dinner: included

Guide: Full day

Visited Attractions*: Kvareli Fortress.

Day 6 — Wine & Honey Tasting, Alaverdi Monastery Tour

Our day continues in Kakheti, the heartland of Georgian winemaking. Here, the essence of the region comes alive in the curated tastings at several distinguished wineries, each sip telling a story of the land, the grapes, and the hands that make it. Venturing on, we find ourselves at the Alaverdi Monastery, an ancient beacon of wine-producing heritage that effortlessly melds spirituality and history. As our journey winds back towards Tbilisi, the Gombori mountain pass unfolds before us. Here, in the midst of breathtaking vistas, we'll pause to savour artisan honey, a sweet note to our day's explorations. The evening sees us back in Tbilisi, where a farewell dinner awaits in one of the city's top restaurants. A warm celebration of shared experiences, it's the perfect end to a day that has taken us from vineyard to mountain pass. Overnight stay in Tbilisi.

Route: Telavi — Private car | 190 km · 3 h Tbilisi

Activities: Wine Tasting | 1 hours , Sightseeing | 1 hours , Food Tasting 30 minutes

Accommodation: Included Old Meidan Tbilisi by Urban Hotels * Or similar | Hotel | Comfortable accommodation, private WC & shower

Meals: breakfast: included, lunch: not included, dinner: included

Guide: Full day

Visited Attractions*: Alaverdi Monastery.

Day 7 — Departure

On your final day, you can enjoy a leisurely morning, do some last-minute shopping in Tbilisi, or simply relax and reflect on the unforgettable experiences of the past week. When it's time, our team will escort you to Tbilisi International Airport for your departure flight. We trust that you'll be leaving with fond memories of a unique and immersive celebration of Georgian culture, tradition, and winemaking.

Route: Tbilisi

Accommodation: Not Included

Meals: breakfast: included, lunch: not included, dinner: not included

Guide: Not included

Our tour program's list of attractions is a guide, not exhaustive. Unlisted sites may be visited, and listed ones might be viewed from a distance. Conditions like operating hours, weather, or local rules may affect access. Thank you for your understanding.

Departures

Sept. 14, 2024 — Sept. 20, 2024 € 2,820 EUR On sale

What's included?

Accommodation

6 nights — Comfortable accommodation, private WC & shower

Meals

6 breakfasts, 2 lunch, 2 dinners.

Guide

5 days — Full day, 1 day — 1 h,

Transport

Private car: ~570 km. *

Activities

Sightseeing: ~8 hours, City Walking: ~4 hours 45 minutes, Wine Tasting: ~4 hours 30 minutes, Masterclass: ~1 hours, Rtveli Celebration: ~3 hours, Food Tasting: ~2 hours 30 minutes. *

Additionally included

Entrance fees to all sites according to the programm, English speaking guide, All master classes mentioned, Traditional Music Folklore Ensemble Performance, Wine tastings.

Not included

Plane tickets, Personal expenses and tips, Travel insurance.

The provided measures of total kilometers for transport, duration of guide services, and activities in our tour program are approximate and may vary depending on the program flow and terrain conditions. While we strive to ensure the accuracy of these numbers, please note that they are intended as estimates. We make every effort to provide the most precise information possible to give you an idea of the overall tour experience.

Note

Guide services can be provided in different languages, depending on the preferences of the group.
Please note that the indicated price is based on a group size of 8 participants. If the group size is smaller, the price can be adjusted accordingly.
If you're interested in extending the tour for more days, please let us know, and we'll be happy to provide options and prices upon request.

Equipment & Checklist

Summer in Georgia is a great time to visit both the lowlands and the mountains. The average temperature in the summer months (June to August) is around 25°C (77°F) in the lowlands and 15°C (59°F) in the mountains, although it can get quite hot during the day.

For this tour, it is recommended to bring lightweight, breathable clothing such as cotton t-shirts and shorts for the lowlands. If you plan to spend time in the mountains, it's a good idea to pack some warm layers such as a fleece or sweater for cooler evenings, as well as waterproof gear for unexpected rain.

Remember to check the weather forecast before your trip and pack accordingly, as conditions can change quickly in the mountains. Enjoy your summer tour to Georgia!

Here's a comprehensive checklist for your summer tour to Georgia:

Accommodation

The accommodations in this tour are in good and clean 2-3 star hotels with private facilities and are located in excellent central locations. If a hotel name is marked with "* or similar," it means a similar hotel of equivalent or higher class may be provided based on tour dates, group size, and hotel availability. The itinerary section of the program description will specify the exact type of accommodation for each day.

Meals

Eating is an integral part of travel, and with Georgia.to, you will have the opportunity to savor the delicious cuisine that Georgia has to offer. While breakfast is included, some lunches and dinners may be held at local restaurants, giving you the flexibility to choose where, what, and with whom you want to eat. Although meals are not typically included in the trip price, food is generally inexpensive, with an average cost of 10-15 euros per person for dinner or lunch, including drinks. However, our group often eats together to allow for a diverse taste of dishes and for the enjoyment of each other's company, though this is not a requirement.

Transport

In this tour, all transportation is private and tailored to your group's needs. Depending on the size of the group, transportation options can range from a car, a mini-van, or a minibus. In areas with challenging road conditions, a 4x4 vehicle may be used to ensure a safe and comfortable journey. With private transport, you will have the flexibility to customize your itinerary and move around at your own pace.

Guides

Our group tour leaders are the most experienced and knowledgeable individuals with excellent English language skills. If the common language of the group is different, we can provide guides in other foreign languages by coordinating with our travel assistant team. The guide will be available to the group for the entire duration of the trip, and their exact availability is marked in the Itinerary section of the program for each day. Please refer to the Itinerary section to know how long the guide will be available on each day.

Money

In Georgia, the currency is the Georgian Lari (GEL). You can exchange money at banks, exchange offices, and some hotels. Small exchange offices are omnipresent throughout Georgia and offer competitive exchange rates. Your guide will be able to advise you on the best place to exchange money, as exchange rates may vary depending on the location. You can also check the current exchange rates on www.xe.com

Bank cards are widely accepted in restaurants, hotels, and shops, but it is advisable to have some cash as a backup, in case there are issues with local ATM machines or credit cards. However, it is possible that in remote villages, bank cards may not be accepted, so it is best to have some cash on hand. The most widely accepted cards are Visa and MasterCard. We recommend exchanging only small amounts of money at a time, as exchange rates can fluctuate frequently. It is also advisable to inform your bank in advance of your travel plans to avoid any issues with international transactions.

Tipping

The Georgia.to travel team, including guides, drivers, cooks, etc., are paid a fair wage and do not expect tips. If you choose to leave a gratuity as a way of expressing your satisfaction, please note that damaged or adhesive coins or banknotes cannot be exchanged. Tips can be left at your discretion in envelopes. In restaurants, it is customary to leave 5-10% as a tip.

Health

For your health and safety, it's important to be in good health before traveling to Georgia. Consult with a doctor or travel medicine specialist for recommended vaccines and preventive measures. To prevent insect bites and follow food safety measures, it's best to drink only bottled or treated water and be mindful of what you eat.

Bring enough of your prescription medicine and ensure that it is legal in Georgia if you have a pre-existing medical condition. A basic first-aid kit, including pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, and insect repellent, is also recommended in case of minor illnesses or injuries.

While Georgia has modern medical facilities in cities like Tbilisi and Batumi, it's still wise to have travel insurance in case of unexpected medical expenses. There are no specific health requirements for this trip, but it's important to prioritize your health and safety while traveling.

Visa Requirements for Georgia

Visa requirements for Georgia for foreign citizens vary depending on the country of origin. Citizens of most countries are eligible for a visa-free entry to Georgia for stays of up to one year. However, some countries require a pre-arranged visa, which can be obtained from a Georgian embassy or consulate. It is recommended to check the specific visa requirements for your country of origin before traveling to Georgia. Here is a short list of countries with citizens that do not need a visa to enter Georgia for a stay up to one year:

EU countries, including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, Spain, France, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, and more. Switzerland, United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Israel, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico etc.

Please find the exhaustive information on the Ministry of Foreign Affaires of Georgia website: https://www.geoconsul.gov.ge/

Dress Code

When visiting Georgia, it is important to be mindful of the local customs and dress codes, especially when entering religious buildings. In such places, it is expected that visitors dress modestly with women covering their heads and legs. Shorts and skirts above the knee are usually not allowed. Outside of religious buildings, there is a more casual and relaxed dress code with no specific restrictions, and visitors are free to wear what they prefer. It is worth noting that Georgia is a modern and European-influenced country, so visitors may encounter a mix of styles from traditional and contemporary.

Laundry

Laundry service is available at the majority of our hotels for a reasonable fee, usually around 10 euros or less per load. If you need this service, please speak to your guide in advance to arrange it.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is not a requirement to enter Georgia, but it is highly recommended. A comprehensive travel insurance policy can provide coverage for trip cancellations, medical expenses, lost or stolen belongings, and emergency evacuation. In case of unexpected events, having travel insurance can provide peace of mind and financial protection. It is important to review the coverage and terms of your travel insurance policy before departing to ensure it meets your specific needs and provides adequate protection while traveling in Georgia.

Safety and Security

Georgia is considered one of the safest countries in the world and visitors can generally feel safe while exploring the country. Crime rates, including pickpocketing, are low and tourists can move around freely without major concerns for their safety. However, as with any destination, it is always advisable to take basic safety precautions, such as keeping valuables out of sight, not carrying large amounts of cash, and being aware of one's surroundings in busy areas.

Emergency Contact

In case of any emergencies, we are available for support. During office hours (Tbilisi time), you can reach us at +995 591 257 715 for any urgent questions. Additionally, upon booking, you will be provided with a 24/7 personnel travel assistant for the duration of your trip. They will be available to assist you with any needs or concerns.

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Last update: April 12, 2024, 6:02 a.m.