Georgia – The Cradle of Wine – S23

Georgia – The Cradle of Wine – S23

Welcome to the homeland of wine! Nestled between Russia and Turkey, this small but mighty and mountainous country is chocked full of history, rich culture, and of course, wine! Home to 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and an impressive tentative 14 more sites on the list, this country is brimming with fascinating and deep-rooted history and is not to be missed.

With the earliest evidence of winemaking (5900 BC) and subsequently the longest winemaking tradition in the world, the Republic of Georgia is becoming more broadly known as the next ‘it’ spot for wine lovers to visit. Join NC Winemaker, Gavin Robertson on a 13-day tour of Georgia and experience the region that brought wine to the world. Throughout this incredible journey, we will visit some of the most important wine regions in Georgia, experiencing the broad diversity of both traditional and modern winemaking activities employed in each area. Will you be one of the lucky students to travel to the cradle of wine?

My Advisor
Elisabeth Vint
Study + Work Abroad Advisor
Phone: 905-735-2211 x 3669
Location: Daniel J. Patterson Campus

DAY 1: APRIL 22, 2023

Grab your bags and make your way to Toronto Pearson International Airport to meet up with your fellow classmates to check-in for the trip of a lifetime!

Flight Information:    AF 351    22APR      Toronto – Paris     18:25   07:50   23APR

AF1052   23APR      Paris – Tbilisi       13:00   19:45

DAY 2: APRIL 23, 2023

After a layover in Paris, and perhaps a croissant or two, we board the next leg of our journey to arrive in Tbilisi. Upon arrival, we will head directly to our hotel to sleep off our jetlag and rest up for the incredible adventure that is yet to begin!

Accommodation: Kopala Hotel

Included Meals: Breakfast onboard aircraft

DAY 3: APRIL 24, 2023

Welcome to your first full day in the cradle of wine! We begin our day with a tour of Old Tbilisi, which will include the historic churches of Mtskheta. This former capital of Georgia is home to historical monuments that are outstanding examples of medieval religious architecture in the Caucasus. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site!

The afternoon, we get up close and personal with the history of wine in Georgia with a visit to the Tbilisi Wine Museum. Winemaking in Georgia stretches back over 8,000 years of history. According to archaeological evidence, the first Georgian wines were made and stored in earthenware vessels called Qvevri. See the remains of some Qvevri in the main hall of the museum. Following our visit at the wine museum, we awaken our senses (and hopefully tastebuds!) with a cooking masterclass.

We cap off our day by coming together for a welcome dinner.

  • Tour of Old Tbilisi
  • Visit Tbilisi Wine Museum
  • Cooking Masterclass
  • Welcome dinner

Accommodation: Kopala Hotel

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 4: APRIL 25, 2023

This morning we visit the Georgian National Wine Agency to learn more about their role in the control and certification of wine production quality, as well as the promotion and progression of awareness in the Georgian wine industry.

Continuing our thirst for knowledge of the Georgian wine industry, this afternoon we will tour the Caucasus International University’s Viticulture and Winemaking Department to learn the similarities and differences between CIU and Niagara College’s programs and approach to wine.

  • Visit the National Wine Agency
  • Visit Caucasus International University

Accommodation: Kopala Hotel

Included Meals: Breakfast

DAY 5: APRIL 26, 2023

We have a busy day with some incredible tours and activities! We begin by exploring Kazbegi and the Gergeti Trinity Church. Surrounded by magical mountain peaks and stunning valleys, you will want to ensure your camera has a full charge with picture perfect landscapes such as these. The gorgeous landscapes continue as we visit the Dariali Valley and scenic waterfalls, enjoying our time in nature. A day full of natural beauty!

  •  Kazbegi Tour
  • Gergeti Church
  • Gveleti Waterfall or Arshe Waterfall
  • Dariali Valley

Accommodation: Kopala Hotel

Included Meals: Breakfast

DAY 6: APRIL 27, 2023

Today is all about fun and beautiful views. Pack a day bag and set out to explore Mtatsminda Park. This park is set atop Mount Mtatsminda, overlooking beautiful Tbilisi. Complete with cafes, souvenir shops, a large Ferris wheel, and even a rollercoaster – it will be a trip to the park that you will never forget!

  • Mtatsminda Park

Accommodation: Kopala Hotel

Included Meals: Breakfast

DAYS 7 – 9: APRIL 28 – 30, 2023

No trip to Georgia would be complete without visiting one of the principal wine producing regions of Georgia – Kakheti. This region is home to two river basins, Ivri and Alazani, which significantly influence the character of Kakhetian wines. We will be spending the next few days in this region, exploring the area and some of the incredible wineries that call it home.

  • Shumi Winery
  • Khareba Winery
  • Ruispiri Biodynamic Vineyard
  • Bagodoni Winery
  • Bodbe Monastery
  • Sighnaghi
  • Ikalto Monastery
  • Alaverdi Monastery
  • Dinner at Khareba Restaurant

Accommodation: Hotel Arge Telavi

Included Meals: Breakfast daily, 1 dinner

DAY 10: MAY 1, 2023

We make our return to Tbilisi this morning where we will stay for the remainder of our time in the incredible Republic of Georgia. The remainder of your day will be at your leisure.

  • Free time

Accommodation: Kopala Hotel

Included Meals: Breakfast

DAY 11: MAY 2, 2023

Today, we have the opportunity to take to the streets of Tbilisi on an optional bicycle tour! This tour is quite physically demanding and would be suitable for biking enthusiasts as it is approximately 25km!

  • Optional Bicycle Tour
  • Lunch

Accommodation: Kopala Hotel

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 12: MAY 3, 2023

Pack a day bag and board the bus as we begin our day by travelling to Marneuli to visit Gadachrili Gora, an archaeological site that is home to the oldest evidence of winemaking in the world. The evidence recorded dates back 8,000 years! The people living at Gadachrili Gora and a nearby village were the world’s earliest known vintners – producing wine on a large scale as early as 6,000 B.C., a time when prehistoric humans were still reliant on stone and bone tools.

We continue our day trip to Bolnisi, one of the most interesting and diverse districts of Georgia. During our time here we will be visiting St. Peter and Paul Monastery Cellar, as well as Shalos Cellar, for tours and tastings before heading back towards Tbilisi.

  • Visit Gadachrili Gora
  • Tour Bolnisi
  • Visit St Peter and Paul Monastery Cellar
  • Visit Shalos Cellar

Accommodation: Kopala Hotel

Included Meals: Breakfast

DAY 13: MAY 4, 2023

Be sure to grab an extra battery pack as we head out for another day trip outside Tbilisi that promises to be an exciting and educational day. Today we have our eyes set on Mtskheta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Mtskheta has been inhabited since before 1,000 B.C. and was once the capital of the early Kingdom of Iberia (today’s Eastern Georgia). Once a major trading post, archaeologists have unearthed glass perfume bottles, pottery, metalwork, and jewelry that are presently on display in the town’s museum.

Our first stop is the Jvari Monastery, which overlooks the old capital and makes for an incredible photo stop. On arrival in Mtskheta, we will enjoy a tour and some shopping, including a visit to the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral.

Our afternoon takes us to the Department of Agriculture’s experimental farm and vineyard at Sagaurmo where we will enjoy a tour. Following our tour of the experimental farm and vineyard, we carry on to Riravo Distillery and Tevza Winery for tasting and tours of their facilities.

The final stop of the day before returning to Tbilisi is Okami Winery, which dates back to the period of the Soviet Union in Georgia. Concluding our visit, we return to Tbilisi.

  • Visit and tour Mtskheta – UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Stop at Jvari Monastery
  • Tour an experimental farm & vineyard
  • Visit Riravo Distillery
  • Visit Tevza Winery
  • Visit Okami Winery

Accommodation: Kopala Hotel

Included Meals: Breakfast

DAY 14: MAY 5, 2023

Take your coffee to go this morning as we venture outside Tbilisi once more to visit the Samtskhe-Javakheti region. This is an ancient historical region and is known as the cradle of Georgian culture. Here you can find cyclopean fortresses built by ancient civilizations and the Castle of Kajeti. We will also visit Borjomi, known for its mineral springs and fresh mountain air.

  • Visit the Samtskhe-Javakheti region
  • Borjomi
  • Akhaltsikhe Castle, Rabati

Accommodation: Kopala Hotel

Included Meals: Breakfast

DAY 15: MAY 6, 2023

Also, on tap for today is a visit to Abanotubani, the ancient district of Tbilisi to take in a dip in the sulphur baths in a traditional bathhouse. It is these traditional bathhouses that gave the capital its name. Tbilisi means “warm place” in Georgian. Legend has it that back in the 5th century, King Vakhtang Gorgasali stumbled across the springs while hunting and was so impressed he built a city surrounding them.

Tonight, we come together as a group to bid our farewells to the incredible Cradle of Wine!

Accommodation: Kopala Hotel

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 16: MAY 7, 2023

It’s been an incredible time in Georgia, but it is time to say our goodbyes as we head back to Toronto.

Flight Information:  AF1053   07MAY   Tbilisi – Paris       09:00   12:10

AF356      07MAY   Paris – Toronto   14:05   16:05

Disclaimers: Be World Ready does their best to execute the itinerary as outlined above, however all elements are subject to change based on availability or requirement to adapt due to circumstances outside of our control. Cost of the overall experience may fluctuate up to a maximum of $200.00 +/- CAD due to volume of participants and local exchange rate. Students will be informed in writing as early as possible if it is foreseen that the cost will increase. Students are also reminded that it is their responsibility to research the entry requirements to the destination countries visited per their nationality and vaccination status.

* Price per student is in Canadian Dollars and reflects the Be World Ready (BWR) grant which has been applied to the total trip cost to heavily subsidize the rate per person for our Spring 2023 International Field Studies (IFS). Our future IFS BWR grants will not remain this high. To qualify for the full value of the BWR grant applied to this IFS, mandatory training and tasks are required to be completed, training and task expectations will be clearly communicated by BWR staff upon registration. Failure to complete the requirements as outlined by BWR staff will result in the value of the grant being billed back to the applicable student account, up to a maximum of $2500. Securing your seat on this trip will occur on a first come, first serve basis based on registration date, and meeting payment timelines.

Included

  • Round-trip airfare, including 1 checked bag (maximum weight is 23kg/50lb and maximum size is 158cm/62 linear inches)
  • Accommodations
  • Travel Insurance
  • Meals as outlined in the itinerary
  • Activities as described in the daily itinerary
  • Rate per student is in Canadian Dollars and inclusive of taxes and fees

Not Included

  • Visa Fees (if neccessary)
  • Passport (or any associated costs)
  • Transportation to/from Toronto
  • Meals not outlined in the daily itinerary
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Souvenirs
  • Departure taxes (otherwise known as an Exit Tax) or additional fees for items not noted as included, if applicable. Example of additional fees could be overweight baggage.

PAYMENT TERMS

Deposit
Second Payment
Final Payment

PAYMENT AMOUNT

$500
$1200
$500

PAYMENT AMOUNT

01/20/2023
02/17/2023
03/17/2023

*Price may increase or decrease depending on exchange rates, final vendor quotes and number of participants.

APPROXIMATE. PRICE
$2200 (BWR Grant Applied)

TRIP DATE 04/22/2023

TO

05/07/2023

TRIP DESTINATION
Georgia

PROGRAM

This opportunity is available to all Niagara College students currently enrolled in the Winery & Viticulture Technician and Beverage Business Management programs. Please note that part-time students are not eligible for the Be World Ready Grant.

APPLICATION DEADLINE
01/17/2023

Download Semester Exchange Handbook

Other Important Information

Payment Options

*Note: if we will be flying through the United States of America, you must have permission to enter and leave the United States. If you require a U.S travel visa it is your responsibility to obtain this document and email [email protected] a copy/photo.