DAY1Receive a group in Tbilisi international airport by a representative of "G&T Georgia"the group meets with the guide at the hotel accompanying them to start the program.Day1.Tour in Night TbilisiDay2.Tour in Tbilisi & MtkhetaDay 3. Tour: Tbilisi – SighnagiDay 4. Tour: Sighnagi – TelaviDay 5. Tour: Telavi – Tbilisi Duration: 6 days/5 nightsDistance: 350 kilometresTBILISI-SIGNAGI-TELAVI-TBILISIStay: Sighnagi – 1 night. Telavi – 1 night. Tbilisi – 3night
The name “Tbilisi” derives from old Georgian word “tbili” which means “warm”. This name (literally “warm location”) was given to the city because of the area’s numerous sulphuric hot springs that came out of the ground. According to the old legend King Vakhtang I Gorgasali went hunting to the woods with a falcon. His falcon caught a pheasent after which both birds fell into the hot spring and died from burns. The king was fascinated with the features of those springs and gave order to cut down the woods and build a city on the location. Tbilisi is located in the south Caucasus at 41° 40’ North Latitude and 44° 47’ Eastern Longitude. The city lies in eastern Georgia on both banks of the river Mtkvari. The elevation of the city ranges from 380-770 meters above sea level. It has the shape of an amphitheatre surrounded by mountains on three sides.
Mtskheta is a city and administrative centre of Mtskheta-Mtianeti
, one of the provinces of Georgia
. Due to its historical significance and several cultural monuments, the "Historical Monuments of Mtskheta" became a UNESCO World Heritage Site
in 1994. There are numerous cultural (institutes, theatre, museum) monuments in the city that are distinguished by their architecture.
“Blessed” – In this way mention Georgians grapevine and vineyard and this “blessing” is thousands of years old. The culture of wine-making and viticulture is the foundation of unity and identitiy of this nation. It is not surprising as it has been scientificaly proven that Georgia is the homeland of wine. It was here where people planted grapevines and managed to make wine. Genes of Georgian grapevine are observed in the DNA of different sorts of grapes throughout the world. Georgian word “Gvino” (wine) is the root of all the words that denote the noble liquid made from grape juice. There are special places in Georgia that are distinguished by winemaking traditions. We are going to Kakheti that is the main centre of country’s winemaking!
Would you like to taste best brands of Georgian wine, but a wine that have truly century-old history and traditions? Would you like to know the unique winemaking technologies that were given the status of intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO? Would you like to compare ancient winemaking and the experiments and innovations of contemporary winemaking? Let us begin our journey on Wine Route and go to Kakheti which represents ¼ of all winemaking of the country. Saperavi, Rqatsiteli, Mcvane, Mukuzani, Kindzmarauli and many other well-known wines bear the name of those villages or territories where these sorts of vinegrapes are grown. The above-mentioned and other wines are prize-winners of many international wine competitions. That is why while travelling in Kakheti road signs and signboards remind us of a wine-map of a reputable restaurant. At the end of this road there is fortress town Sighnaghi which seems to be suspended in the air.
The small town is on the top of the mountain as if it is attached to it. It makes special impression on its guests and takes them 200 years back in the history. This town is surrounded by the castle wall that is the longest one in Georgia. Old-fashioned narrow streets are decorated by small statues created according to the paintings of Niko Pirosmani. You can see the original paintings of the self-taught artist in the local Ethnographic Museum of the town. This museum is next to wine-house called “Tears of pheasent”. Here Kakhetian wine traditions and “pure taste” are carefully observed. Here too people categorically refuse to mix different sorts of wine.
In “Tears of Pheasent” you will see true Georgian “Marani” – wine basement where you will learn that “qvevri” is a clay vessel for makig and keeping wine and that it needs special care. You will see various instruments and tools Georgians have been using for centuries for working with the juice of the sacred grapevine. Qualified staff will hold professional wine-tasting for you. After that you will enjoy walking in the town streets.
Wonderful views of the cradle of Georgian winemaking will be opened to your eyes from the top of Sighnaghi towers. Blessed Alazani Valley stretches from under the town walls to the great Caucasus Mountains. Having enjoyed the beautiful panorama you can continue your adventures by taking a pleasant test that awaits for you: traitional Georgian feast – “Supra” with best wine and most delicious national dishes.
DAY4. TOUR/ SIGNAGHI-TELAVI
Today we will visit the house-museum of a person who was the first among Georgians who brought the technology of industrial wine production from Europe. Perfection has no ends and he considered that bringing contemporary technology to his own home country was a worthy deed. Tsinandali is an ancestral land of Prince Chavchavadze. It was here that for the first time in Georgia industrial winemaking began. Poet Alexander Chavchavadze bottled Georgian wine using French method for the first time. Here, in Tsinandali, in XVIII-XIX centuries fashionable salon of the elite of those times lived a lively life where aristocrats from different countries gathered together. Alexander Dumas (father) compared Tsinandali to a paradise and the Romanovs made this estate their residence. Now you have the chance to walk in the footsteps of those great people.
The Wine Route runs forward to the winemaking plant – “Shukhmani”. We will take you to the village Kisiskhevi where you will see the vineyards of the winery and taste its wine. After that you will have dinner in a restaurant with wonderful views of the Causasus Mountains. Brace yourself – you will visit winemaking plants– “Telavi Marani” and “Badagoni” – waiting for in Telavi
DAY5. TOUR/ SIGNAGHI-TBILISI
Walking in the capital of Kakheti is unimaginable without visiting local marketplace. National candy: Churchkhela and Tklapi, dried fruit and honey, aromatic spices and cakes for any culinary taste. This is a real eastern bazaar where you can (and you should!) haggle. Georgians will give you a discount for anything you will be interested in but first you shoud express your respect towards ancient culture of trade and show that you deserve a discount.
Meanwhile, the Wine Route goes on. The next step of getting to know Georgian wine will be the plant “GWS”. Each company tries to show the guests the best from its production. Having visited the contemporary enterprise we will go back to the origins of of winemaking in the medieval monastery of Alaverdi.
The temple itself is one of the cultural sightseeings of the country of Georgia. This wonderful building elevated on the background of great mountains is also very interesting as the hearth of traditional culture. Monks of Alaverdi monastery have always been renowned for their winemaking skills. Wines from the monastery marani (cellar) were famous for their healing properties too. This marani has been restored after the archaeological excavations and it still delights lovers of this noble liquid.
Excellent wine needs excellent food and we know where we can have it. You are already familiar with Georgian cuisine and it is possible for you to open new borders. Having eaten in the restaurant we will leave for Tbilisi. The road lies through beautiful Gombori pass. Driving down the mountain the setting sun will light our way to Tbilisi.