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Rtveli: Wine Harvest Tours

Premium Authentic, All-Inclusive Food & Wine Harvest Tours
Late August to Early November

Authentic Wine Harvest Tours

Rtveli (Georgian: რთველი) is Georgia’s wine harvest festival. It encompasses the whole process, from picking the grapes, through processing them into the wine vessels (qvevri) and the supra (feast) that follows a successful harvest.

Every family that makes their own wine will have a Rtveli of their own. Each can happen in one day, multiple times, or spread over many days, depending on the size of the harvest for each family and the chosen harvest dates.

The Rtveli happens when the sugar content of the grapes have reached their ideal amount, based on the winemaker’s preference, which varies depending on where in the country they are grown. The peak season is between early September and mid October, but we have options which most seasons allow us to operate harvest tours from late August to early November.

3 Types Of Harvest Tours

As a tourist, the best harvest experience depends on your preferences and availability. There are 3 versions that are typically possible, 2 are the common ones that get offered to tourists (simulations and events), and then there is the most authentic and least commonly offered option – The Real Family Rtveli – which we offer on a very limited schedule as one of the only tour companies in Georgia to do this with any level of organization.

Read our article that explains Rtveli and the experience, step by step and in pictures. Or choose your tour style below.

Vineyards large and small offer a simulation of some of the main activities of the Rtveli. Such as picking, stomping with feet, maybe a meal or even supra (feast) with a tamada (toastmaster).

  • Can book any date in the season (late August to early November)
  • Shorter and easier harvest experience (ie. only picking grapes for ~30 minutes) which is well paced with no gaps/waiting around
  • But less authentic than the real family Rtveli
  • Grapes normally made into juice not wine

We join winemaking families, on days where their real harvest is happening. The grapes you pick will be used to make the wines for the family that they will drink and sell the following year. This is a truly grass-roots experience and fully immersive.

  • You join a winemaker and their family/friends to help make the family's wine for the season
  • By far the most authentic - small group of tourists actually helping a local family
  • Slower day of real activities, rather than a fast paced artificial itinerary
  • Dates can change last minute due to weather, so you need to be flexible
  • Very limited supply of dates, so please get on the waitlist
A large group go out to a larger winery (sometimes independent, sometimes commercial) and all work together to help the winery perform harvest. It can be a simulation, or a real harvest. We mainly book these on request, but have 1 bookable premium event operating 9th + 10th September 2022.
  • One-off specific dates, so you have to be available
  • Large groups, rather than more personal small group tours
  • Book your own private event through us
  • Mostly tourists on the trip, little interaction with locals
  • Grapes may actually get turned into wine, rather than just juice

Scheduled Harvest Simulation Tours

Our scheduled wine harvest tours provide a fun and easy simulation of the harvest, visiting an independent winery to pick grapes, stomp them. If you have no flexibility in your visit dates, and need a trip that is not weather dependent, this is the closest to the real Rtveli we can provide.

Even though this is a simulation harvest, our focus is on taking you to independent vineyards where you can meet the winemaker and get more of a family feel, rather than just stomping grapes at a corporate vineyard.

Personal, small group experiences with bags of authenticity, even if the actual grapes will not be made into wine.

Best Seller

Wine Harvest – 1 Day Kakheti (Telavi) Food & Wine Tour

12.5 Hours
Tbilisi
EVERY Tues / Thu / Sat (Sept + Oct). 1 Day wine harvest (Rtveli) experience, including cultural stops, visit a qvevri builder and picking/stomping of grapes.
From₾450 GEL
0
View Details
  • Scheduled Wine Harvest Tour
  • EVERY Tues / Thurs / Sat (Sept + Oct)

See a date you want to join? Go to the booking page and use the booking calendar to make your booking.

None of these dates work for you? Book an on-demand new date – click the button to start.

Minimum of 2 people.

Dates & Options

Real Family Rtveli Tours

We join various winemaking families, on the actual days where the real harvest is happening. The grapes you pick will be used to make the wines for the family that they will drink and sell the following year.

This is a truly grass-roots experience and fully immersive. Follow every step of the Rtveli, with the family and their friends, from picking grapes through to enjoying a supra (feast) with the tamada (toastmaster).

We run a very limited number of these, and they are highly weather dependent, which is why few tour companies offer this types of experience. We do it because we believe authenticity is a priority for our guests – and because we just love doing these tours. Read our article that explains Rtveli and the experience, step by step and in pictures.

We expect to run just 7 Real Family Rtveli tours this season. See the options and dates below.

  • Group Size: 6 to 12 guests per trip
  • 1 & 2 Day trips
  • Dates are SUBJECT TO CHANGE based on weather and grape sugar level. Please allow some flexibility in your availability. + or - 3 days is best. If you have no flexibility, please let us know when you apply to the waitlist for the tour.
  • There are no cancellation fees if dates change from those published. Once dates are locked in, you will be notified and you can pay a deposit to secure your spot. This is only refundable if the date changes, not if you later cancel.
  • Approx pricing: 300 to 420 GEL per person per day, depending on group size. All inclusive, indulgent amounts of food and wine. Accommodation not included.
2 Day Tour: Alazani Valley, Kakheti

Real Rtveli: Telavi

Expected Dates: 17th + 18th Sept 2022

Why this tour?
English speaking winemaker.
Vineyards with great views of the Caucasus mountains.
Very fine artisan wines. Smaller group.
Day 1 visits culture and wine sites around Telavi, instead of Signagi.

Spaces: 7

Itinerary

Approximate Itinerary, subject to last minute change.

Day 1: Wine & Culture Day

9:00 am – Depart Tbilisi. Stop for honey tasting on Gombori mountain pass
11:45 am – Alaverdi monastery
1.00 pm – Wine tasting and lunch in the Alazani valley at a small family winery
3:30 pm – Visit the qvevri builder and see how the wine vessels are made, at his home workshop
5:00 pm – Visit the historic city of Telavi, the king Erekle II fortress, and the 900 year old plane tree
6:30pm – Light dinner and wine tasting at a high class winery with mountain views on their terrace.
9:00 pm – overnight at your hotel (multiple options at different price points available, TBA) Accommodation cost not included.

Day 2: Harvest Day

9:00 am – Breakfast
10:00 am – Depart hotel
10:30 am – Harvest grapes
12 pm – Vine-side BBQ and drinks
1:00 pm – Finish loading grapes, return to the marani. Help process the grapes, snacks and drinks available
4 pm – Help prepare BBQ and other dishes for the supra
5:30 pm – Supra in the marani at the family home
8:30 pm Depart
10:30 pm Arrive to Tbilisi

2 Day Tour: Alazani Valley, Kakheti

Real Rtveli: Tsinandali

Expected Dates: 25th+26th Sept 2022 | & 29th+30th Sept

Why this tour?
Lively/crazy winemaker
who will keep you entertained – antics are expected.
Vines are walking distance from the Marani (wine cellar).
Expect a very fun Supra!

Spaces: Two trips of 12

Itinerary

Approximate Itinerary, subject to last minute change.

Day 1: Wine & Culture Day

10:30 am – Depart Tbilisi
11:30 am – A quick stop at the beautiful Ninortsminda cathedral
12.30 pm – Wine tasting and lunch in the Iori valley at a small family winery
5:00 pm – Visit the historic mountain village of Signagi, and walk the city walls and cobbled streets.
7:00pm – Dinner and wine tasting at a high class winery with mountain views on their terrace.
9:30 pm – overnight at your hotel (multiple options at different price points available, TBA) Accommodation cost not included.

Day 2: Harvest Day

9:30 am – Breakfast
10:15 am – Depart hotel
10:30 am – Harvest grapes
12:30 pm – Help process the grapes, snacks and drinks available
2 pm – Help prepare BBQ and other dishes for the supra
4 pm – Lively and entertaining supra in the yard outside the marani
7.30 pm – Enjoy the sun setting and then depart for Tbilisi ~8pm
10:00 pm – Arrive to Tbilisi

1 Day Tour: Iori Valley, Kakheti

Real Rtveli: Sagarejo

Expected Dates: 2nd Oct 2022

Why this tour?
English speaking winemaker & tamada (toastmaster).
Family are all singers and there will be polyphonic singing at the supra.
Closer to Tbilisi.

Spaces: 12

Itinerary

Approximate Itinerary, subject to last minute change.

9am – Depart Tbilisi
10 am – Visit Ninotsminda Cathedral
11 am – Picking grapes in the field
1 pm – Snacks in the home winery garden while helping to unload and process grapes
3 pm – Help preparations for the supra (feast) and making dishes with the family
5 pm – Supra & polyphonic singing
~8.30 pm – Depart
10 pm – Arrive to Tbilisi

1 Day Tour: Near Gori, Shida Kartli

Real Rtveli: Ateni Microzone

Expected Dates: 8th Oct | & 12th Oct 2022

Why this tour?
Winemaker is a professional dance teacher.
There will be traditional Georgian dance and a whole roast lamb or goat.
Visit to Uplitsikhe cave town before the Rtveli.

Spaces: Two Trips of 12

Itinerary

Approximate Itinerary, subject to last minute change.

9am – Depart Tbilisi
10:30am – Visit Uplitsikhe bronze age cave town
11:45am Picking grapes in the fields
~ 1 pm – Vine-side BBQ
2pm – Unload grapes at the marani (wine cellar) and help process grapes
3:30pm – Help preparations for the supra (feast), khinkali making class etc.
5 pm – Supra with whole roasted goat or lamb
~8 pm – Depart
10 pm – Arrive to Tbilisi

1 Day Tour: Kvemo Kartli, South of Tbilisi

Real Rtveli: Bolnisi

Expected Dates: 14th Oct 2022

Why this tour?
Female winemaker.

Remote family home located in the Bolnisi region with a lovely garden.
Opportunity to visit the old German buildings of Asureti before the Rtveli.

Spaces: 12

Itinerary

Approximate Itinerary, subject to last minute change.

8:30am – Depart Tbilisi
10 am – Visit Asureti German settlement, or the Bolnisi museum and learn about German history & oldest hominid remains in Europe (1.8M years)
11:30am – Assist with picking grapes
1 pm – Snacks in the home winery garden while helping to unload and process grapes
3pm – Help preparations for the supra (feast), khinkali making class etc.
5 pm – Supra
~8 pm – Depart
10 pm – Arrive to Tbilisi

Book A Large Harvest Party Or Join One Of Ours

Event Rtveli

Want us to organise a large harvest event for you?

Fill out our custom quote form and let us know your requirements.

Or join our Rtveli Party Event: 2 Day Tour, 10th September 2022. More details, click the link below to the Facebook event page. 20 to 30 guests.

Looking For Something Different?

We specialize in small group, food & wine itineraries (with a good dose of history, sightseeing and culture thrown in). But we can provide anything from fully custom, multi day itineraries that will take to across of of Georgia, down to private walking tours in Tbilisi.

From personal two person honeymoon wine adventures, to 30+ guest wine country parties/festivals. We have wine, food and fun waiting for you!

Submit a custom quote request and we can build you an itinerary and get you a quote.