Tbilisi Wine Tours & Wine Tasting Tbilisi: Learn about some of the best places in Tbilisi to taste traditional Georgian wines. We round up some great places to taste wine in the capital, as well as wine tours that begin in Tbilisi and head out to the closest wine regions to the city – including Georgia’s top wine region, Kakheti.
Tbilisi Wine Tours
Tourist infrastructure has grown rapidly in Tbilisi over the last 10 years. Winemaking has become more refined and many new independent vineyards have popped up all over Georgia. This means there is an insane amount of wine to choose from. There are a lot of wine bars, and you’ll even find wine shops with bottles right on the streetside, with staff offering up tastings.
Finding wine is not a problem in Tbilisi. Finding artisanal wine can be more difficult. A lot of the major producers like Kakhetian Traditional Winemaking (KTW), Tbilivino, Khareba, Badagoni, have wine tasting rooms/wine bars and restaurants in Tbilisi. Most of them are decked out nicely, so it’s easy to see why tourists are drawn in by their central location and fancy decor.
But, of course, most of the wines they make are mass production. And although they meet a minimum standard in most cases, I really don’t think wine tourists making a pilgrimage to Georgia, the birthplace of wine (6000 BC), are looking to drink mass produced wines…
To explore some truly unique Georgian wine, like you never tasted before, you need to head to the independent wine bars and tasting rooms – I’ve listed some good ones below.
You can also join our partner company, Eat This! Food & Wine Tours for wine tastings and wine walking tours in Tbilisi.
To truly understand Georgian wine, and learn about its history and terroir, then heading out of Tbilisi and taking a Georgian Wine Country Tour is going to be even better.
Wine Tasting Tbilisi – Wine Bars
If you don’t want a full introduction to Georgian wine, but just a quick tasting session, there are a few places I would recommend for a simple tasting with staff who speak English and places that have artisan wine. But, like any basic wine tasting, these are places where some, not all, of the staff have a good understanding of Georgian wine, but few of them are wine guides as such. Most of these options are in central Tbilisi.
8000 Vintages – They now have a branch near Rustaveli, so a good option. They state their reputation on only stocking blind tasted wines that have met approval by their sommeliers. A wide range of wines from both artisan and major producers. Their original branch in Saburtalo is great, but also a bit far out of the center for tourists.
Wine Boutique – Just up the hill behind Rustaveli metro station. The guys who own this place have an exuberant passion for Georgian wines and are a lot of fun. Big focus on artisan wines.
Wine Merchants – On the east side of the river, near Fabirka. The enologist, George, who hosts tastings really knows his stuff and provides technical info (if you want that level) as well as specialist, custom tastings for wine experts. For regular wine lovers, they have a great food menu and extensive wine selection with hundreds of artisan wines, so no matter your wine knowledge level, you are sure to find something you love.
Reserve Wine (Near Parliament, Rustaveli) – The only place in Tbilisi that has nitrogen sealed bottle dispensing, so you can order 30+ wines by the glass using a card system. This means, instead of booking a fixed wine tasting, per se, you can just go in and taste whatever you want. Beqa is the main staff member with the most knowledge. He’s not always there, but there is normally an assistant on hand with at least rudimentary knowledge of the blind tasted and approved selection in the cabinet.
DADI Wine Bar (Near Freedom Square) – Just 20 seconds off freedom square. It’s a cute boutique winery with a good a la carte menu and lots of options for wine tasting that are ideal for those new to Georgian wine.
St. Bunny – Just around the corner from Rooms Hotel / Stamba on Rustaveli Ave. St. Bunny is effectively a wine restaurant with an extensive wine list at shop prices. Great food with unique options, and a broad focus on artisan wines (including pet-nats). The sommelier speaks English, so this is a great place for dinner with excellent wines, and they also offer beginner wine tasting classes.
Wine Not (Vake/Rustaveli North) – A tiny wine bar with a nice selection of independent wines. I love the place because it’s one of the smallest in Tbilisi. Best to book a wine tasting as they sometimes run events that would interfere with your experience. And the best staff are not always there.
Free Georgian Wine Crash Course & Wine Tasting Card / Guide
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Tbilisi Wine Tours To Georgian Wine Regions Near Tbilisi
Tbilisi Wine Tours are perfect for getting an introduction to Georgian wine. Especially if you are only in Georgia for a day or so. But they can’t compete with visiting the vineyards of independent producers, meeting the winemakers, and drinking amongst the wines or in the home cellars of wine country.
If you are in Tbilisi for a longer trip, or even just for 2 days or more, you’ll have time to explore some of the nearby wine regions. The closest, Shida Kartli, being only 1 hour
For a list of the best Georgian Vineyards to visit, check out our top 20 list.
Kakheti Wine Region – East Georgia
Kakheti is Georgia’s most productive wine region, lying to the east of Tbilisi. It’s bordered by The Caucasus mountains to the north, and Azerbaijan to the south. Two valleys make up the primary grape growing region. The most famous, the Alazani valley (pictured). The region has 20 microzones, special terroir that is protected and yields specific wines that can only carry the name of the microzone if the grapes are grown within its borders.
The capital of the region is Telavi. This is a good base point for exploring. Other popular areas for tourism include Sighnaghi (a hill town, high above the valley), and Kvareli (A large town on the foothills of the Caucasus). But there are many other less visited areas to explore. This is why a wine tour is a good option if you want to get a bit more off the beaten track and visit the very small home producers, rather than the large wine factories that advertise their presence online.
Popular Grapes: Rkatsiteli (White), Mtsvane Kakhuri (White), Kisi (White), Saperavi (Red) – Though there are more famous white grapes, Kakheti is still the best red grape region, in my opinion.
Drive time: 1hr to the edge of Kakheti from Tbilisi. But the Alazani valley is a 2hr drive, as is Sighnaghi and Telavi. Kvareli is 2.5 hours. A 1 day wine tour is common, but it’s a lot of hours in the vehicle. So we recommend a 2 day trip, or for real wine lovers, a 3 day trip is perfect.
Shida Kartli – Central Georgia
Shida Kartli starts from the north of Tbilisi and extends towards the west and north of Georgia from there. Essentially, you can be at your first winery within 40 minutes of leaving Tbilisi central (though some of the best are a bit further away). So it’s realistically the only region you could do a 1/2 day wine country tour. That said, a full day tour is much better as a half day would likely only take in 1 to 2 wineries, with short visits at each.
Popular grapes: Chinnuri (Chinebuli – White). Tavkveri (Red)
Drive Time: 40 minutes from Tbilisi central to the start of the Shida Kartli region and the first few vineyards. Plan 1 to 1.5 hours to make it to the more distant vineyards.
Kvemo Kartli – Central South Georgia
South of Tbilisi is a lesser visited wine region. Kvemo Kartli sits directly between Armenia and Tbilisi. It’s a little less set up for tourism, but they produce some great wines. However, some of the best wine areas like Bolnisi, are over an hour away, and the region is less scenic than Kakheti. So, most tours opt to go to Kakheti. The oldest archaeological evidence of winemaking in the world (6000 BC) comes from this region, from a dig site at Gadachrili Gora. This site is not set up for tourists either.
So, this region is somewhere we recommend for visitors who are already familiar with Georgian wines and want to explore something new, rather than for first time visitors.
Another famous wine region in Georgia is Imereti, but that is 3 hours drive from Tbilisi, so not ideal for a 1 day trip, and even a 2 day trip is a stretch. But, if you are flying in or out of Kutaisi airport, rather than Tbilisi, then Imereti is a great wine region to visit, especially for white wine lovers.
Recommendations on Wineries to visit in the above regions
We have a detailed article listing 20 top wineries to visit in Kakheti, Kartli and Imereti. Georgia’s best wine regions.
Book a wine tour from Tbilisi
Our partner Eat This! Tours can help you plan a full guided wine trip, or book an experienced driver to take you on a self guided trip (As self driving wine trips are depressing!).
Book a fixed, scheduled tour. Focused on premium authentic experiences, artisan wine and meet the winemaker.