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Georgian Food & Wine Festivals / Events Calendar (Tbilisi & Beyond!)

Georgia has a lot of food & wine festivals! Many happen annually, because if there is one thing to be known about the Georgian people – it’s that they love to party! Wine is seen as sacred in Georgia, as well as the central and most significant piece of any სუფრა – supra (feast). Centuries-old traditions are actively kept alive, including Georgia’s ancient and unique methods of wine-making.

Every food festival also has wine, often in abundance! And most wine festivals include unlimited free tastings, some you just pay an entry fee (~30 GEL per day is typical), and some are actually entirely free to attend.

Georgia is still a country where most of these festivals are attended by locals, they are not just for tourists. 

For those who are interested in uncovering Georgia’s rich culture and historical connection to wine, check out some of the top festivals & events to attend both in Tbilisi and across the country, listed by season below – as well as some year-round events that happen periodically or even weekly.

We are constantly adding to and updating this list. The calendar is normally the most up-to-date part, and the descriptions (see below the calendar) of each event below give a general intro to each and the typical location and dates. We try to make sure once exact info for each event is released (which may only have a couple of weeks before they happen, as Georgians don’t seem to like to always plan in advance) that we update the calendar at least.

Calendar

Entries with a ?? before them are provisional dates. 

Once the ?? is removed we are setting the confirmed date, and location too, if possible. Sometimes we’ll include a ticket purchase link or FB event page in the calendar event too, if tickets can be purchased online.

Spring

Orthodox Easter

Orthodox Easter in Georgia
Orthodox Easter in Georgia

When: Orthodox Easter Weekend (Varies, April to Early May)
Where: Every Cemetry in Georgia, and in family homes (get invited, or join a tour)

Orthodox Easter happens a few weeks after Western Easter. Across the country Georgians take a picnic, with wine, of course, to sit at the grave sites of their ancestors in every cemetery. This mainly takes places on Easter Monday (when roads around cemeteries can turn into traffic bottlenecks!), but also to a more limited amount on Easter Sunday.

It is not inappropriate to visit cemeteries and you may actually get invited for toasts with wine at the family plot. People are very welcoming to their traditions here!For a more organised version of Easter: Spend the day with a local family, eating traditional dishes like chakapuli and paska (Easter cake), making a visit to the grave site to learn about family history and traditions, and then enjoying an Easter supra (feast) with the tamada (toastmaster) with a lot of wines! Then check out our real family Easter Tours.

Gviriloba-Kutaisoba Festival

When: Early May
Where: Kutaisi, Georgia

The word “Gvirila” in Georgian means “daisy/chamomile,” and the festival was given this name in 1921 when a few high school girls in Kutaisi participated in a charity campaign by picking daisies and selling them to help people suffering from tuberculosis with the gathered money. This act of kindness was revered by locals and turned into a collective celebration of the city.

Different theatrical performances, sports competitions, mini parades, musical performances, and various kinds of fun entertainment are held throughout the city from the early morning to late evening. Fun for the whole family!

Zero Compromise – Natural Wine Festival

When: First Weekend In May, typically.
Where: Tbilisi, location varies, check the calendar above.

2-day natural wine festival hosted by the Natural Wine Association. Sample natural, wines and meet the winemakers themselves. Those interested in natural wine can also speak with wine experts and importers to get a deeper understanding of recent harvests and natural wine production in Georgia. Mainly wine cellars producing natural wines that are members of the Natural Wine Association in Georgia. But they also feature international wineries that make natural and qvevri wines. One day pass – 30 GEL. Two day pass – 50 GEL.

Sherekilebi – Wine Tasting Festival

When: Early May – normally on a day adjacent to Zero Compromise or New Wine Festival
Where: Iago’s Winery, Village Chardakhi, Mtskheta

Sample natural, local Georgian wines at Iago’s Vineyard from all corners of Georgia at this special wine tasting event. Notable Georgian winemakers will be in attendance as well so you can get to know the winemaker as you sample their wine! They normally have a curated group of about 10 wineries represented.

Taste Tbilisi

When: Varies. Often one in spring and one in Autumn. Can run for many days in a row.
Where: Dadeeana Park

Food stalls move in with varying cuisines from Georgian fusion to seafood and tacos. Always a lively event in the park which is free to attend. Beer and wine stalls, outdoor seating as well as park space. A good atmosphere.

New Wine Festival

When: 2nd Saturday in May
Where: Mtatsminda Park, Tbilisi

Taste hundreds of new wines from last year’s harvest (2022) and meet winemakers, world-renowned wine experts, sommeliers, and importers from around the world at the ultra-popular annual New Wine Festival. The festival will kick off with a traditional qvevri opening ceremony along with the famous Georgian feasting song called “Mravaljamier” meaning “Long live!” There will be music and a variety of activities to engage in, including a small lottery where 10 boxes of wine will be won! Attendance is free of charge.

Tushetian Cheese Festival

When: Late May
Where: Akhmeta, Kakheti

Besides its breathtaking mountains and ancient ruins, Tusheti is also known for its goat cheese that is made with whole milk from alpine Tushuri sheep. At this festival, local cheese-makers from nearby regions come together in Akhmeta and showcase their unique variety of cheeses. In addition to sampling some delicious, artisanal cheese, you can also listen to local folk music, purchase handmade crafts, and watch various sports activities like horse-racing.

Festival of Georgian Regions

When: Multiple events from Late May to Early July.
Where: Tsiskvili Restaurant, & Sioni St. Tbilisi

Restaurant Tsiskvili will be hosting a cultural event showcasing different foods, wines, and traditional Georgian dances from each region of Georgia. There will also be exhibitions, wine-tasting, culinary master classes, and musical performances of traditional folk songs. A “children’s zone” will also be set up for kids to have fun. This is a great opportunity to get to know each part of Georgia, with all of their similarities and differences! Attendance is free for all.

They are hosting an event in Sioni st. (central old town Tbilisi) as well as events at the restaurant in Dighomi.

Summer

Wine Expo Georgia – International Wine & Spirits Fair

When: First Weekend of June (Fri to Sun)
Where: Expo Center, Tbilisi

The only fair of its kind in Georgia, and one of only a few in the entire Caucasus region, WINEXPO attracts roughly 4000 visitors per year, and presents up to 100 different exhibitors. The event features a wide congregation of both national and international wines, spirits, and informative seminars on wine production. For winemakers, exhibiting at WINEXPO is one of the best ways to showcase products in front of a massive group of wine trade professionals, and for visitors, a wonderful way to sample lots of great wine & spirits!

Lomisoba Festival

When: May or June (annually 7th Wednesday after Easter)
Where: Lomisi (in the mountains near South Ossetia), Georgia

Quite controversial in nature, Lomisoba is a Pagan folk festival that also includes some elements of Christianity. It involves making a 3 hour pilgrimage to the summit of Lomisi mountain where visitors light candles and offer prayers at an old church. Sheep is then sacrificed in front of visitors, which is why this festival is so controversial and often a cause of dispute. The views of the Caucasus mountains are very beautiful, though.

Merano Wine Festival

When: Early/Mid June,
Where: Château Mukhrani

The first Merano International Wine Festival was held in 1992 in the Italian city of Merano and has become a classic meeting place for wine professionals and lovers. In 2022, the Merano Wine Festival went beyond Italian borders and was held in Georgia for the first time. This year the festival will be held at the Château Mukhrani Palace and the newly built orangery.

The festival is a wonderful place to discover and promote high quality, unique wines, and get to know the winemakers themselves. Accents will be made specifically on Georgian, Italian, and Turkish wines. Guests will also have the opportunity to pair wine with snacks, attend wine seminars, professional tastings, and try some culinary masterclasses (led by Georgian, Italian, and Turkish chefs) at different spots throughout the palace. Early bird tickets cost 75 GEL. Tickets at the door will cost 100 GEL.

Honey Festival

When: Early/Mid June
Where: Mtatsminda Park, Tbilisi

Celebrate Georgia’s love of honey with free tastings from artisan producer from all over Georgia!

Cheese Festival

Georgia Cheese Festival
Georgia Cheese Festival

When: Early/Mid June
Where: Mtatsminda Park, Tbilisi

Taste a diverse range of artisan, and larger production cheeses from all different regions of Georgia. From the Tenil string cheese of Meskheti to Imeretian cheese and much more! Georgia’s cheese culture spreads a lot further than the basic Sulguni you get in most tourist restaurants.

Bolnisi PDO Wine Festival

When: Early/Mid June
Where: Bolnisi German Neighborhood, Georgia

The festival will include over 70 winemakers that will participate in competition where the 9 best wineries will be awarded 3 gold, silver, and bronze medals, respectively. Wine experts, writers, and sommeliers from the USA have been invited and will attend. There will also be live music, and attendance is free of charge.

SuperNatural Wine & Food Festival

When: Mid/Late June
Where: Mtatsminda Park, Tbilisi

A wonderful festival that showcases not only local Georgian natural wines, but also includes members of Gastro world, artisan cheesemakers, farmers, bakers, and local handmade products! The festival will be held at the heart of the beautiful and green Mtatsminda park – what’s better than fresh air and wine? 

Gurian Wine Festival

When: Late June
Where: Near Here

Explore wines produced almost exclusively in Guria, one of Georgia’s lesser known wine regions. Meet wine makers and enjoy one of the more off track wine festivals of Georgia.

Racha/Lechkumi Wine Festival

When: Mid-July
Where: Racha or Lechkumi (Location has varied, from Ambrolauri to Tsageri)

An opportunity to explore wines from Georgia’s Northernmost wine regions, in Racha an Lechkumi. Many wineries from the area are represented. Learn about and taste regional grapes like Alexandrouli and Rachul Tetra.

KefalFest 

When: August 20, 2023 @11am
Where: Maltakva Beach, Poti

KefalFest is an annual festival that is held in Poti right on the beach. There are a large variety of different activities to participate in, such as scavenger hunts, concerts, fishing competitions, a laser show, and watersports. Locals will also be selling their handmade crafts and souvenirs. Since Poti is in the Samegrelo region of Georgia, make sure you try some Megrelian khachapuri! If you are fond of spicy food, you’ll definitely want to sample some Megrelian cuisine as they are known for their love of spiciness (unlike classic Georgian food).

Peristsvaleba-Tbatanoba

When: August 19, 2023 (same day every year)
Where: Pankisi, Georgia

In Georgian, Peristsvaleba literally means “changing of the colors,” and is celebrated on August 19th every year as the unofficial first day of Fall. From August 19th on, the colors of leaves will slowly change as the weather also becomes a bit turbulent, making it difficult to visit or reach high mountain areas. The entire country recognizes the importance of this day, but in Pankisi, local Kists, Chechens, and Tushetians actively celebrate. They head up to Tbatana mountain and feast to express gratitude for a good year, and have one large outdoor celebration before the cold sets in.

Kiketi Fest Forest & Wine

When: Mid August
Where: Kiketi Village Park/Forest

Not far from Tbilisi. Enjoy wines from the mountains around Tbilisi and beyond, in a forest/park environment. Higher altitude means for a little fresh relief from Tbilisi’s summer heat. Live music and fun! And just within Bolt distance of the city with pickup – just!

One Caucasus – International Interdisciplinary Festival

When: Late August
Where: Tserakvi – Marneuli, Georgia

One Caucasus is an interdisciplinary art, music & educational festival occurring annually in August, where participants from Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia will be represented in multiple fields like art, film, music, dance, and sport (among others). The location is strategically chosen to be near the border of all 3 countries that are considered “the Caucasus” – Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan. Despite differences and conflicts between the 3 nations, the goal of this program is to inspire harmony and inclusivity by bringing people together in the spirit of arts, wine, and activism. Food and wine will be showcased at the festival as well, by both Georgian and non-Georgian winemakers. 

Autumn – Winter

Wine Days Georgia – 7 to 10 Days of Festivals Nationwide

When: Early to Mid October
Where: Many cities throughout the country – check here for updates

A week of wine festivals and concerts throughout the country? Yes please! Wine Days One of Georgia’s most well-organized collection of festivals that really showcases the country’s culture and deep connection with wine. Enjoy weeks of wine tasting, georgian dances, tasty georgian street food, handmade souvenirs, live music, and games for children. This festival truly is a favorite for both tourists and locals alike.

These festivals are entirely free to attend. They sometimes run out of wine before the end, so turn up early if you want to try a wide range of wines!

Tbilisoba

tbilisoba

When: Early October
Where: Rike Park and other locations around Tbilisi

Tbilisoba is Tbilisi’s biggest and most beloved annual festival, celebrating the capital city’s rich history and culture. Held in early October, the vibrant festivities include folk music and dance performances, exhibitions of traditional arts and crafts, and a vast array of Georgian cuisine and wine. The highlight is a large parade and costume party where participants dress in traditional Georgian outfits from different eras. Tbilisoba gives visitors an immersive look into Tbilisi’s past while showcasing its modern energy and pride

Terjola Wine Festival

When: Mid/Late October – but this may be replaced by Wine Days now.
Where: Terjola, Georgia

This festival is for local winemakers in Terjola. More than 100 winemakers showcase their wines together with a small supra and traditional Georgian dishes. Each of them will create a small ‘ethno corner,’ and as soon as the festival is finished, the jury announces the winners of different nominations.

Gurjaani Wine Festival

When: October – but this may be replaced by Wine Days now.
Where: Akhtala Park, Gurjaani, Georgia

Huge wine festival with local winemakers in Kakheti – the region of the country known as “Georgia’s Vineyard.” Sample lots of different Georgian wines and snacks, listen to traditional folk songs, and participate in different crafting activities! The entire festival is decorated very beautifully so it’ll be easy to immerse yourself in the creative atmosphere.

Amerimeri Wine Festival

When: Early December
Where: Imereti: Kutaisi / Tskaltubo Area

This festival was actually established by the Natural Wine association in 2017. It showcases wines from up to 70 small wineries from various regions of Georgia, all of which are members of the Natural Wine Association. Guests of AMERIMERI will have the opportunity to meet the winemakers, participate in wine-tasting, buy rare wines, and also discover new flavors. The festival is always held in Imereti. The specific location hasn’t been decided yet, but it will definitely be in Imereti.

Christmas / Winter Market in Tbilisi

When: Mid/Late December to Early January
Where: Dadeeana Park to Orbeliani and streets in-between over the Dry Bridge.

Georgia’s answer to an international Christmas market, with a bit of a Georgian twist, of course. Christmas food, mulled wine and various other food and drink stands. Craft market, winter exhibits, and things for kids. It’s a family event that spreads over multiple streets and over the Dry Bridge.

Berikaoba Festival

When: February
Where: Didi Chailuri & other villages in Kakheti

Berikaoba is one of Georgia’s oldest pagan festivals, dating back thousands of years ago to Georgia’s early farming culture. After Christianity was introduced and accepted in Georgia in the 4th century, many pagan traditions and celebrations began to quietly disappear.

Although Berikaoba was previously celebrated on a much larger scale, it is now typically celebrated in just a few villages in Kakheti, the largest of those celebrations in the village of Didi Chailuri. Villagers perform small dances and skits in berikas while others engage in (chidaoba) mud-wrestling competitions. The festival is historically connected to fertility and fruitful spring.

Year-Round Wine Festivals & Food & Wine Events

Info coming soon! This article is a work in progress, and we also find that people start regular events and then cancel them after a few weeks, so we try to only add things that seem like they are going to have a bit more longevity, or are already established.

About the author

Pro food & drink travel writer, photographer & podcaster since 2013. WSET2 (distinction). Georgian Sommelier (In Progress). 200+ wineries visited in Georgia. Many 1000's of natural/qvevri wines tasted since 2016. Tommo & his wife have now visited 95+ countries in search of food and wine. They decided to make Georgia (Country) their home base in 2019 and establish Eat This! Food & Wine Tours.


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