Republic of Georgia – Homeland of Wine

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 and archaeologist, Andrew Graham (NC Alumnus) on a 10 Day tour of Georgia and experience the region that brought wine to the world. Throughout the tour 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.

With wine of course, goes food. A Georgian Supra is a highly ritualized feast that celebrates food, wine and conversation – all led by a tamada , a sort of toast-leader throughout the evening. We will  encounter several of these throughout our trip – especially significant will be the welcoming supra hosted by the National Wine Agency upon our arrival in the capital city of Tbilisi. Tbilisi will be our somewhat permanent home for the trip as Georgia is relatively small and the places we will be going are never more than a few hours bus trip away. Despite this – getting out into the country is what this trip is all about and we will have a couple of overnight trips to the principal wine region of Kakheti and to the ancient underground fortress-city of Vardzia. For those interested in the traditional method of winemaking, we will also visit a production facility for qvevri – the UNESCO Heritage protected tradition of making wine in large clay pots buried in the ground and so much more.

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:

Shumi Winery
Khareba Winery
Ruispiri Biodynamic Vineyard
Bagadoni Winery

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

  • Round Trip Airfare
  • All Accommodations
  • 6 Winery Tours
  • Georgian National Wine Agency
  • Department of Agriculture Experimental Farm
  • Mtskheta
  • Svetitskhoveli Cathedral
  • Jvari Monastery of Mtskheta
  • Georgian National Museum
  • Gadachrili Gora
  • Kakheti
  • Ilkalto Qvevri School
  • Alaverdi Monastery
  • Georgian Technical University
  • Open Air Ethnographic Museum
  • Vardzia


Second Payment
Third Payment
Final Payment





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

$2199+/- ($500 Grant Applied)

TRIP DATE 04/18/2020



Republic of Georgia


Open to all wine and viticulture students.


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*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.