Tbilisi Wine Tours: Wine Tasting Tbilisi & Georgia Wine Regions

Megsy Booze, Food & Drink Tours

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 which 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.

To truly understand Georgian wine, and learn about its history and terroir, then taking a Tbilisi Wine Tour is going to give you the best understanding.

Book our 1/2 Day (4 hours) afternoon Tbilisi Wine Tours

Tbilisi Wine Tours: Wine Tasting Tbilisi in a 100 year old cellar

Drinking wine in a 100 year old cellar

  • Visit 3 wine bars with a food and wine specialist
  • Try artisanal wines from a home producer in a 100 year old cellar
  • Try premium wines from some of Georgia’s most famous wine regions
  • Learn about wine tasting
  • Compare Georgian Traditional wines (8000 years of tradition) against European classical winemaking, with wines made from Georgian grapes.
  • Local cheeses and other snacks included.
  • Learn the ancient, and modern history of Georgian wine
  • Become competent in Georgian wine styles and traditions and impress your friends back home!
  • INCLUDES: At least 12 wine samples (50ml each) per person. Guide. Snacks & cheese.
  • EXCLUDES Additional wine and snacks, purchase of bottles, sad memories.

NOTE: This is a full wine tour. It’s all about the wine. Some other Tbilisi Wine Tours you’ll see advertised are actually just a sightseeing tour with a wine tasting stop included. This is also something we can offer on request, but our focus is on giving wine lovers a real wine exploration, not just a quick sample. So, always check what is included before booking.

Price: 120 GEL (Approx: $45 USD per person). Advanced booking essential.

4pm to 8pm Wednesday to Monday – minimum 2 guests for the tour to run. Meeting in Freedom square.

Provided by our partner tour company Eat This! Tours. Approved by us πŸ™‚

Simply email tommo@eatthistours.com

– tell him your dates and group size. Max public group size is 8. Larger groups possible for private groups.

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Wine Tasting Tbilisi

Tbilisi Wine Tours To Nearby Wine Regions like Kakehti

Wine Tasting In Georgia

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.

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 good a la carte menu and lots of option for wine tasting that are ideal for those new to Georgian wine.

DecanTer (Rustaveli) – On a side alley, just off Rustaveli, find real Georgian hospitality and a nice selection in a cute little wine bar.

Wine Lab XL (Near Freedom Square) – Claiming the biggest selection in Tbilisi (though I’m highly dubious), they do really have a good collection.

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.

8000 Vintages (Saburtalo) – Actually this is my number 1 pick, but their best branch with a top sommelier is in Saburtalo (25 mins taxi from central). So it’s not ideal for tourists. However, they do 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.

Free Georgian Wine Mini-Guide – Learn the essentials in 10 minutes or less

Get Our Free Wine Route Itineraries & Georgian Wine Crash Course PDF

Don’t arrive clueless. Learn the essentials of Georgian traditional wine and wine culture in less than 10 minutes with our concise mini-guide.

BONUS – Avoid the tourist traps: Get our detailed wine itineraries. Destinations, step-by-step timings and additional notes to help you plan an amazing trip to Georgian wine country, with a focus on unique, independent wineries. (3 Itineraries included)

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

Tbilisi Wine Tours to Kakheti

Tbilisi Wine Tours: Views of Alazani Valley from Telavi

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 14 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. Which 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

Tbilisi Wine Tours to Shida Kartli

Wine Tasting in Shida Kartli at a traditional home Marani (wine cellar)

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.

Imereti

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!).

Get a custom quote & itinerary from Eat This! Tours Here or book a fixed itinerary.