Seven methods of making the wine are known around the world. Two of these methods are Georgian, which differ from one another. In Kakheti grape juice is boiled with whole grapes and kept for two weeks. In Imereti and Racha the process begins by extracting the juice into other containers and boiled. Wines of imereti and Racha is distinguished by lightness and agreeable taste. For the discerning wine tourist, Imereti and Racha presents its own unique varietals and wine heritage that are waiting to reward the adventurous traveller who is willing to get off the beaten track to find them!
DAY 1. Tbilisi
Arrival at the Tbilisi International Airport. Transfer to the hotel. Time at leisure. We will visit the Old Tbilisi. Established more than 1500 years ago it is known that the first settlers arrived much earlier. The course of its history has been hard and never smooth.
Tbilisi is a multicultural city. It is the home for more than 100 different ethnic groups. The architecture in the city is a mixture of local (Georgian), with strong influences of Byzantine, European/Russian (neo-classical), and Middle Eastern architectural styles. Tbilisi has a great number of important landmarks and sightseeing locations: churches, museums, and parks.
You will visit the oldest and the most important temple in Tbilisi. Metekhi Church is erected on the cliff, overlooking the Mtkvari River. There is a statue of King Vakhtang Gorgaslani, founder of Tbilisi, in front of the church.
Ascending by cable car to the Narikala Fortress – the heart and soul of Tbilisi. The fortress was established in the 4th century. An old odd masonry of its walls, observation towers and winding narrow paths, all tells about the antiquity of the building.
After our walk we’ll have a traditional Georgian dinner at one of Tbilisi’s best restaurants.
Overnight in Tbilisi.
DAY 2. Tbilisi – Mtskheta – Ambrolauri
After breakfast we’ll head to Mtskheta, the ancient capital of Georgia. Mtskheta is famous for its great selection of restaurants at any taste. Even the most stubborn gourmet will be satisfied with the variety of restaurants with all kinds of different interior and a wide variety of dishes.
There we will visit the Jvari Monastery (6th century), which is located on a top of a hill at the confluence of the Aragvi and Kura rivers. It is here, according to the historical sources, that St. Nino erected a cross.
Next, we’ll visitthe Svetitskhoveli Cathedral (11th century), which is known as the burial place of Christ’s mantle and is one of the most significant places of worship in all of Georgia.
After visiting Svetitskhoveli, We will set off to the estate “ Chateau Mukhrani”, where you can visit the Castle of Prince Ivane Mukhranbatoni.тTake a walk through the vineyards, visit the modern winery, where the unique wines are produced and you’ll also have an opportunity to taste them including white wine “Goruli Mtsvane” which elsewhere is not industrially produced.
After the tour you will have a delicious dinner. After lunch and wine tasting, drive to to the Ateni Monastery Wine Cellar, where, among other wines, we’ll sample their distinctive dry white Atenuri wine.
Next we’ll to Racha in Western Georgia. One of the most beautiful highland regions of Georgia.
Dinner et overnight in Ambrolauri.
DAY 3. Ambrolauri – Kutaisi
Racha, distinguished by its special natural beauty, rich forests, springs, mineral waters, is located at a height of 2000 metres above sea level.
Grape-vine holds a special place in the life of Rachvelians, which are distinguished by even temper. From the ancient times they respected and admitted grape-vine. This region represents the sample of wine-making and hospitality. Only in Racha, in Khvanchkara village is grown the grape, from which unmatched wine Khvanchkara is made. Only here you can taste pork ham Lori fabricated a la Racha and listen Rachvelian Mravalzhamieri .
After breakfast visit the settlement of Bugeuli, the Aleksandreuli Company. The leading wines of Khvanchkara, Alexandreuli and Tetra are produced here. You’ll have Khvanchkara wine tasting. The main places of tourists’ interest are concentrated in this district as well.
After the excursion you will visit Nikortsminda – a domed church built in 1010-1014 by King Bagrat III, one of the most beautifully carved cathedral in Georgia. You will enjoy a short rest in the fresh air of the splendid Lake Shaori.
Dinner in a local farmer’s house with delicious food and wine. Staying in private houses is a great way for everyone to learn local traditions and customs.
Drive to Kutaisi . Dinner et overnight .
DAY 4. Kutaisi -Tbilisi
After breakfast we’ll head to the Gelati Monastery. Gelati is the symbol of Georgia’s Golden Age. The monastery was founded by King David IV (the Builder) in 1106 AD. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Gelati is the burial ground for King David and all subsequent Georgian kings.
Next, we visit the Sataplia Cave which is known for it’s underground springs, stalactites and stalagmites, and dinosaur footprints). It is a complex structure and contains geological, paleontological, speleological and botanical monuments In ancient times, Kutaisi was known as the kingdom of the ancient Colchis, and is today, as then, the heart of Imereti wine making culture.
Winemaking tradition has been alive and thriving here since the time of the Colchis and uses its own unique technology for winemaking. Imereti wine is known for wines like Gelati (white), Argveti(port), Tsitska (white) and other less known wines. Generally, Imereti wine is not as strong as wines in Kakheti and tend to be less sweet.
Near Kutaisi, we’ll visit the Khareba Winery . Thanks to the diversity of vine sorts and different climatic conditions Khareba Wineryis able to produce particularly distinctive sparkling wine. Using a special approach to winemaking and wine development in their wine cellar Khareba’s wines can be described as vivid.
The wines that Khareba produces here in Western (Tsitska, Krakhuna, Tsolikauri, Otskanuri; Saperqvi, Aladasturi, and Usakhelauri) differ markedly from the wines Khareba produces in Eastern Georgia.
In the late afternoon we’ll return to Tbilisi for a feast in one of the capital’s leading restaurants.
Overnight in Tbilisi.
DAY 5. Departure
After breakfast and check-out we’ll visit the Sarajishvili Brandy Factory. It was founded by the entrepreneur and scientist David Sarajishvili in 1888. After a brief tour of the factory we’ll sample
After lunch in the city, purchase of souvenirs. Transfer to the airport.
The price per person $ US Dollars
Price Includes: Transfers, Transport throughout all round. Accommodation in Tbilisi (2 nights), Ambrolauri (1), Kutaisi (1), Breakfast (4), Insurance, Services of the guide.
Not included: Air Tickets. Meals and Drinks not mentioned in the program.