ITEMS IN ITINERARY ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE
Day 1| Depart for Georgia!
Saturday April 18
Sit back, relax and enjoy the journey.
Day 2| Overnight Flight
Sunday April 19
After a layover in Paris and an opportunity to stretch our legs we are back on the plane. Late this evening we touch down in Georgia before sleeping off our jet lag.
Day 3| National Wine Agency Supra
Monday April 20
Shake off the jet lag we’re in the homeland of wine! This morning we will have a brief orientation session followed by a walking tour of Old Tbilisi which includes an introduction to local transit and principal landmarks. The rest of the day is yours to explore Tbilisi at your own pace.
Day 4| Mtskheta
Tuesday April 21
This morning we visit the Georgian National Wine Agency to view their traditional Marani and Wine Library. In the afternoon we will tour the Caucasus International University’s Viticulture and Winemaking Department to learn the similarities and differences between CIU & NC’s programs and approach to wine. Finally we will end the day with a traditional Georgian Supra alongside CIU faculty and students.
Day 5| Gadachrili Gora
Wednesday April 22
Today we begin with a visit to the Georgian National Museum in Tbilisi; We will have a personal guided tour of the principal exhibits in the museum with time left over for personal exploration. This evening we will ride the gondolas up to Narikala Fortress, then walk down from the Mother of Georgia Monument to Old Town Center.
Day 6| Kakheti
Thursday April 23
Board bus for a weekend trip to the principal wine producing region of Georgia – Kakheti . On route we will be stopping at several locations along the way – arriving in the hilltop town of Sighnaghi. We will stop here for lunch and a visit to the local museum which houses one of the most significant art collections of the famous Georgian artist Niko Pirosmanashvili. The afternoon will consist of a visit to the beautiful Alaverdi Monastery for a tour followed by wine tasting and light lunch at Matsoni House across the road. The evening is free to spend how you please! There is a lot to do in Tbilisi – such as Thermal Baths, ride the gondola up to the Narikala Fortress or buy some art at the Dry Bridge Market
Day 7| Four Winery Tours
Friday April 24
Today is a day dedicated to touring several different wineries in the region. Agenda for the day:
Ruispiri Biodynamic Vineyard
Day 8| Alaverdi Monastery
Saturday April 25
The day is free to spend how you please! There is a lot to do in Tbilisi – such as Thermal Baths, ride the gondola up to the Narikala Fortress or buy some art at the Dry Bridge Market.
Day 9| Georgian Technical University
Sunday April 26
Visit to Georgian Technical University to engage with students enrolled in the viticulture and oenology program . Here we will be presenting one of our ‘Ontario Tastings’ to be hosted by our tour group.After lunch we visit the archaeological site of Gadachrili Gora. Andrew Graham will give a tour of the site and opportunities for students to learn about the significant scientific discoveries made there. This evening there will be a supra in Marneuli to be hosted by the Mayor and local dignitaries. On the way we will pop into the archaeological field school dig house to see how student archaeologists live in the field and how rural families live in this part of Georgia.
Day 10| Open Air Ethnographic Museum
Monday April 27
Department of Agriculture Experimental Farm – Grape cultivar collection and breeding program. We will be hosted by Dr. David Maghradze, who will tour us around the vineyard and laboratory operations. We will be having lunch in the old capital of Georgia – Mtskheta with time to tour the old town and visit some of its famous landmarks such as the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral. This extraordinary (and for its time, enormous) building dates from the 11th century, early in the golden age of Georgian church architecture. Then a quick visit to the beautiful Jvari Monastery of Mtskheta – which provides a spectacular view of the city of Mtskheta below. We end the day with a visit to Tevza Winery for a detailed look at a combined winery and distillery operation. We will be hosted by the winery owner for not only a tour and tasting but we will have dinner here as well.
Experience the Open Air Ethnographic Museum in Tbilisi – here we will explore the history of Georgia as expressed in the diverse ethnic and cultural traditions as preserved in domestic architecture.
Day 11| Vardzia
Tuesday April 28
Board bus (4hrs) for overnight trip to Vardzia. The road follows the upper Mtkvari River, passing through narrow canyons and then veering south at Aspindza along a particularly beautiful valley cutting like a green ribbon between arid, rocky hillsides. The star of the show is Vardzia itself, however, with its scores of caves and tunnels, impressive church and dozens of extraordinary frescoes.
Day 12| Final Supra
Wednesday April 29
Board bus for return trip (4hrs) to Tbilisi. Enjoy your last day in Georgia before the final supra of this experience.
Day 13| Depart for Canada
Thursday April 30
Sit back, relax and reflect on the amazing experience that was the Republic of Georgia