Itinerary for Vines & Mountains 2 Day Wine, Food & Scenery Trip to Kakheti Region of Georgia (Europe)

Kakheti is Georgia’s biggest wine producing region featuring some of the most interesting wineries in the cougintry. The hill town of Signagi, as well as the Alazani valley, where many of the best micro climate zones (for grapes) are situated, offers panoramic views of the Caucasus mountain range.

This 2 day trip takes you deeper into the scenery and winemaking than the 1 day trip Kakheti trip, with the option to wake up on day 2 with glorious views of the valley.

NOTE: Seasonal variations & daylight hours can affect timings and availability of certain activities

All wineries should be booked at least 1 day in advance. Family wineries rarely take walk in’s. We can organize all of this for you, as well as a safe driver – so you can drink as much as you want. Just contact us at [email protected]

NOTE: Most wineries offer large servings for each tasting (75ml – 150ml per wine) and you often get bonus shots of chacha (Georgian grappa) and wine. This is why they charge for a tasting. This is typical across Georgia, though not 100% of the time. Most vineyards open from 11am to 6pm/7pm.

$1 USD = 3 Lari (Approx)

Find The Full Itinerary Below.

Options For Taking This Tour:

Email us with the following info:

  • Number of guests (Adults / Children)
  • Dates & number of days
  • Standard Tour – as below. OR custom tour, we’ll create one for you.
  • Pickup city or location / Drop off city or location
  • Wine Preference: Some OR plenty OR loads!
  • Other info about you

Private groups up to 12 guests are possible on request. Typical group size is 2 to 8 guests.

[NOTE: online bookable options Coming March 2020 – until then, email [email protected] for more info]

All our drivers have been vetted for:

  • Safe driving style
  • Working seatbelts (yes, this is something you actually have to ask about if you hire a driver independently)
  • Doesn’t drink and drive (also something you have to check, really!)
  • Sufficient English Speaking Standard

Day 1 – To Signagi & Telavi

1. Meet 9.45am. Depart 10am

Meet Driver At Revolution Square (Iveria Cafe) / Or Arrange Pickup From Your Hotel.

2. Arrive 11.30am. Giuaani Winery

Full wine tour, introduction to Georgian Wine history and wine making. Modern and historic production methods in a medium size winery. Views south across the valley towards Azerbaijan. Extensive range of wines.

Bread making @ Giuaani

Wine tour/tasting packages 28 lari (4 wines, 2 chacha, cheese board)

Lunch: a la carte Food Menu available, order on arrival. Bread making class (5 lari per person), Churchkhela (Georgian dessert) making (5 lari per person)

Depart 2pm. Wine Tour/tasting & cooking class reservation required.

3. Arrive 2.20pm. Vazha Getiashvili Home Wine Cellar

Very small home cellar. Former professional winemaker for a large producer, now makes biological wines at home. Saperavi & Rkatsiteli – two of the most popular grapes in Georgia. Try homemade cheese and sunflower oil.

Meet the family @ Vazha Getiashvili Home Wine Cellar

3 Wines, 1 chacha, and cheese/bread/oil and snacks – 20 to 40 lari per person depending on group size.

Depart 3.20pm. Advanced reservation essential. English speaking mainly at weekends when younger family members are at home.

 

4. 4pm Arrival. Bobde & St. Nino’s Convent

Signagi, The City of Love. Before visiting the main town, visit one of the most important churches and convents in the region. The only place in Georgia you can get married on the spot. Marriage is not required for the tour 🙂

Depart 4.30pm

 

5. 4.45pm Arrival. Cradle Of Wine Marani

Extensive wine tasting option from unique artisan wines and spirits, including Lavender Chacha and an ever changing range of wines made by Paul and his small team. This is real artisan stuff.

Great views of Signagi & The hills/mountains from the balcony.

Excellent and detailed wine & culture presentation – min. 1 hour. With various tasting package options, from 30 to 100 lari. The 100 lari is a very extensive tasting indeed!

Paul @ Cradle Of Wine Marani, Signagi

Tastings are scheduled to start at 1700 and should be booked in advance if possible. Levan generally handles tastings on Mondays and Tuesdays; Paul – Wednesday through Sunday. Paul is the owner and speaks fluent English – USA born with Georgian Heritage.

Depart 6.30pm Approx. Or a little Earlier if you chose the shorter tasting. Reservations Highly recommended to guarantee a place on the 5pm tasting.

 

6. 6.45pm. Visit Signagi Town & Views

Enjoy an early evening stroll around the bridge, town hall square and up towards the view point on the north ridge side of the town – where you’ll find views all the way down into the Alazani Valley.

Depart 7.30pm (Spring/summer/fall). For winter trips, your guide can take you for this view just before your visit to cradle of wine.

 

7. 8.30pm. Arrive At Accommodation Near Telavi

Mid Range: Hotel Tela OR Hotel Arge

The Terrace @ Hotel Tela, Telavi

Premium: Mosmieri OR Radisson Tsinandali Estate

The Garden @ Mosmieri

 

Budget: Milarovas Guest House & Wine Cellar

The Cellar @ Milarova’s, Telavi

Optional a la carte food & wine options for dinner at most of these hotels.

See our Georgia Wine Hotels Article For More Options (Coming Soon)

 
 

Day 2 – Alazani Valley and back to Tbilisi

1. 9.30am Light Breakfast at hotel

NOTE: Most hotels in Georgia do not provide breakfast before 9am. A few may provide from 8am.

2. 10am. Optional History Stops.

Pickup from Hotel. If staying south of Telavi, you could make a stop at the House Museum of Alexander Chavchavadze, in Tsinandali. This was one of the first places in Georgia to make classical European wines, rather than natural Georgian wines. It’s also a beautiful old country house.

If Staying in Telavi or just north, you can make a trip into the centre of this old town to visit the Telavi fortress and castle of King Erekle II.

The church inside Telave fortress walls

Or, if you drunk too much on day 1, you could have a nap 🙂

Depart 11am From Tsinandali, or 11.15am from Telavi. 

3. 11.30am Akido Home Winery & Historic Cottage

Wine tasting with mountain views in the garden of a traditional early 20th century village cottage that has been preserved in the original style. Take a short cooking class and learn to make a traditional Georgian dish like khinkali (Dumplings) or Khachapuri (Cheese stuffed bread).

Make Khinkali @ Akido Wines

Taste 3 organic wines and 1 chacha, plus cheese board, 30 lari per person.

Depart 1.15pm

4. 1.30pm. Alaverdi Monastery 

Views and short visit of this historic monastery. Known as the oldest documented continuous producer of wine in Georgia – since 1011 AD.

Free Entry

Depart 2pm

5. 2.15pm or 2.30pm. Sanavardo Estate OR Shilda Wines OR Chubini Wines.

Sanavardo estate is the largest grape producer in the Napareuli microzone. They have an unparalleled selection of accessible wines produced to a high standard with very professional technique. But, they actually sell most of their grapes to other vineyards locally. Getting a reservation here in English is tricky. No food. Contact us [email protected] and book a tour to include this stop.

Depart 3.15pm

OR

Shilda Wines & Restaurant. A large production wine factory where you’ll get to see the difference between small/medium production and larger commercial production. Their restaurant sits raised above tracts of vines all around, with views back south across the valley. Reserve in advance and ask about food, or try your luck ordering off the menu when you arrive if you are hungry enough (depends if you did the cooking class at stop 3!)

Depart 3.30pm

OR

Chubini. A small, new build, home style winery set in beautiful scenery close to the foothills of the Caucasus Mountains. 2 young winemakers are taking old technology and playing with the traditional method to create their own take on old style wines. No food.

Depart 3.30pm

5b. Gremi Monastery

On the road between Sanavardo Estate & Shilda / Chubini. You will pass Gremi Monastery. Currently (2020) under renovation. You can stop to take photos from outside if you like.

Gremi, Prior to new renovation process.

5 to 10 minute photo stop. No time to go inside.

6. 3.45pm. Nekresi monastery

One of the best views back south across the Alazani valley towards Telavi. The Nekresi monastery sits high on the hill above the valley and the panorama is spectacular.

View Of Alazani Valley from Nekresi monastery

The road is very steep and most of the year is closed to public vehicles. If open, unless you have a 4×4, the drive is not recommended. The walk up can take some 45 minutes.

During the high and shoulder season (April to November) there will normally be taxis at the bottom of the hill ready to take you to the top for a few lari. This visit can be a bottleneck in your itinerary, as taxis may not depart until full, or if very busy, you may have to line up to wait for a taxi. And, of course, walking up and down will use a lot of time – and be a very hot walk in summer.

If you can get up and down quickly by taxi then, 20 minutes at the top is sufficient.

Depart 5pm, or earlier if possible.

7. 5.15pm. Khareba Wine Tunnel OR Nelkaresi Estate (Friend’s Cellar)

Still ready to explore? Khareba Wine Tunnel is a wine tourism attraction. A 7km wine tunnel carved into the foothills of Caucasus. You can take a wine tasting in the tunnel, then enjoy dinner and sunset views across the valley from the Restaurant (actually pretty good traditional food, a la carte) above the tunnels. That’s the positives.

Wine tasting in Khareba Wine Tunnel (in-between tour groups)

The negatives, this is a very touristy stop. Expect large tour buses in the car park most of the year. They are a very big producer and the wines are ok but nothing special. The tour only takes you through about 300 meters of tunnel to the tasting room. So it’s not really an epic tunnel tour. That said, overall, the experience is good so long as your expectations are set. You won’t have the personal style experience of many of the other places on this itinerary, but it is an interesting place to visit. Last tunnel tour and tasting is typically 6pm but can be later in summer.

OR

Ready to relax? Nelkaresi Estate (Friend’s Cellar). This is a modern restaurant winery with a lovely view to sit and enjoy the early evening. Everything is available a la carte (but worth calling ahead to reserve a table). Enjoy home wines, and order to your remaining appetite. If you are not up for more wine adventuring, then this is your laid back final stop on the tour.

Dining @ Nelkaresi Estate

OR – The Secret Option…

Another small cellar in the town of Kvareli – But it’s a secret!. I love the wines they make here, but they don’t speak a lot of English. If you’d like another small winery experience where you’ll need a guide. Their Gavazi Red Blend and 4 year oak aged Tsinandali are two of my favourite wines in Georgia. Contact us about a guide to visit this stop. [email protected]

A big Qvevri (wine pot) turned into an entrance to the cellar.

After this final wine tasting, you could have an a la carte early dinner at The Restaurant @ Khareba (Views and food great! Wine, average). Or head to Kudigora, restaurant by the lake.

8. Depart 7pm For Your Trip Back To Tbilisi

Get Dropped At Your Hotel. Approx 2 hours ride back to Tbilisi, depending on traffic.

Ready to book your wine tour? Contact us to hire a driver, a driver/guide or to hire us – Tommo & Megsy – As your personal wine, culture & social guide.
 
Email us with the following info:
  • Number of guests (Adults / Children)
  • Dates & number of days
  • Standard Tour – as below. OR custom tour, we’ll create one for you.
  • Pickup city or location / Drop off city or location
  • Wine Preference: Some OR plenty OR loads!
  • Other info about you