Known as the mother country of wine, Georgia has been producing vintages for 8,000 years, a fact that was recently unearthed by new archaeological discoveries. If you are visiting the country and you want to learn about its culture and heritage, a wine experience is a must. We tried a unique wine tour in Georgia that took us out into the mountainous countryside, to the cellars and intimate serving tables of producers, and into the homes of local families.

The experience we tried was the “Vines & Villages Signagi tour” run by Eat This Tours. We absolutely loved it and that we think you would love it too, so in this article we’ve shared our experience to help you make the right decision for your visit to Georgia!

This site contains links to travel services we recommend, from which we may make commission at no extra cost to you. We were given complementary places on the wine tour that is reviewed in this article. Our opinions are our own, and we always give honest recommendations

This tour is for you if:

  1. You prefer more personal experiences in smaller groups, great for solo travellers and couples.
  2. You like trying new wines and meeting the winemakers.
  3. You want to experience visiting a traditional Georgian home and a family meal.
  4. You are looking for a premium, authentic, all-inclusive food and wine tour in Georgia’s top wine region, Kakheti.

View and book the Vines & Villages Signagi tour – you can use our coupon code career5 to get a 5% discount.

We know this might not be everyone’s cup of tea: perhaps you’re on a budget or a tight schedule, or you don’t want the fully immersive experience. If that’s the case, these are some other wine tours in Georgia we think you may like:

Our experience of the Vines & Villages Signagi wine tour

We were picked up close to our apartment at 10:30 in the morning, which seems like a little early to be sampling wine, but… welcome to Georgia!

Over the course of the day we visited three wineries, each of which had different stories to tell and unique tastes to share. The day was spaced out perfectly, and we had plenty of time to relax, recover, take photos and ask questions from one stop to the next.

Giorgi was our driver and tour guide for the day. He was a fantastic host, and as he was personally familiar with all the wineries we visited and he knew the families well, he joined in with story-telling at each stop throughout the day.

With just six people in our group, this was a truly intimate experience. Wine tours can sometimes feel like lectures, but in this experience we were sitting cosily around the same table as the winemakers themselves, and we had the opportunity to ask any questions we liked.

The itinerary for the tour won’t always be the same, as the wineries you visit will depend on availability on the day. To give you a flavour of what you can expect, we’ll share here a glimpse of the places we visited on our experience.

Traditional supra meal on our wine tour in Georgia
Spread of Georgian food and amber wine at the traditional supra on the tour

Learning about Georgian wine on the drive

As we drove to the first winery, our driver Giorgi gave us some background to wine in Georgia. We won’t give all the secrets away here, but a little insight is useful to set the scene for the wineries we visited.

Giorgi explained that over 500 varieties of grape are grown in Georgia. There are 11 wine regions, and each region has a different micro zone that produces a different style of wine. Our day would be focused in Kakheti, the most important wine region, where about three quarters of the country’s grapes are grown.

We had already seen from our time in Tbilisi just how intrinsic wine is to the national culture. Georgians are proud of their winemaking, and it infiltrates every family across the country. We could barely turn a corner without seeing a wine shop, and every tour we took during our stay seemed to include a wine tasting, whether it was advertised as part of the itinerary or not!

Qvevri pots: a unique winemaking method

Different from everywhere else in the world, Georgia uses clay pots called qvevri to ferment and store wine underground at the temperature of 10° to 16°. The qvevri creates a completely different style of wine with a different palate, as the clay pots allow for more contact with oxygen.

Giorgi told us that due to the qvevri methods, wine in Georgia was always dry until the end of the 19th century, when steel tanks were introduced and they started making semi-sweet wine as well.

Qvevri clay pots for winemaking in Georgia
Qvevri clay pots are the key to Georgia’s historic winemaking traditions

Amber wines

Not only do the qvevri pots produce different wines, but there is also a different technique in Georgia that results in wines known as “amber” wines. This technique sees the wine come into contact with the grape skins.

As far as I am aware I have not found any other country in the world that makes wine in this way. It gives the wine a distinct colour and a completely different flavour from what we are used to at home with European-style wines.

Exploring the first winery, Giuaani

The first winery on our tour, Giuaani, was situated about a 40-minute drive outside of the city of Tbilisi. Producing around 300,000 bottles per year, it is considered to be a medium-sized winery.

We pulled up to a beautiful building and grounds, where we were welcomed by another Giorgi, who was part of the winemaking team at Giuaani.

This new winery started in 2014 and so is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. On this special occasion, we had the privilege of exploring the vineyards, Japanese gardens and wine production areas with Giorgi. He told us that if you visit during harvest season in September, you can actually take part in the winemaking process.

Giuaani winery grounds
Giuaani winery is set among Japanese gardens and vineyards

Alex and I have visited many wineries before, and we are familiar with the steel tanks typically used in winemaking production. However, seeing the clay qvevri pots that are intrinsic to Georgia’s winemaking traditions, and learning in detail about how they are used, really made this a fresh and different experience.

Sitting down for food and wine!

After the tour we were taken inside the main building to be greeted by a roaring fire, beating off the winter cold. Christmas decorations were still twinkling around the venue (our visit was in February) and the ambience felt really friendly and welcoming, with atmospheric jazz murmuring in the background.

We were seated at a large table in the middle of the large room filled with rows of glasses and a tantalising spread of food that would pair with our wines.

From the very beginning of the day it was evident that winemaking is taken extremely seriously throughout Georgia. Giorgi the winemaker and Giorgi our guide both oozed passion as they talked us through each sip and story.

Giuaani winery tasting room
Sitting down for our wine tasting and food at Giuaani winery

Sampling the wines at Giuaani (and taking one home!)

Giuaani is located in the village of Manavi in the Kakheti region, and the first wine we tried was a dry white wine produced from the Kakhuri Mtsvane grapes grown around the village. It is produced by using the classic method and it is paired with traditional Georgian dishes.

The second wine we tried was Manavi Barrel, which has PDO status (protected designation of origin). It was great to experience the wines that are produced in this particular region. We enjoyed the Manavi so much that we bought a bottle to take back home to the UK, but honestly we would’ve happily walked away with any of the seven (yes, seven!) that we tried!

More wine flowed, and more dishes were brought to the table to complement each glass. The atmosphere of the tasting and food pairing was friendly, warm and open. Even if you don’t know much about wine or how tastings work, you will still feel at home here as they explain each different element along the way.

Before leaving, we had the opportunity to look at the newly built hotel rooms at Giuaani. Staying here means you can visit and enjoy all the local food and wine you like without having to travel anywhere afterwards! It would make for an amazing romantic getaway.

There is a swimming pool that is heated until October, and each of the rooms have desks, so you could even take a workation here while experiencing a great Georgian summer. See our guide to taking a workation in Georgia for more on this.

Finally, a roof terrace above the hotel rooms affords a glorious panoramic view of the grounds and surrounding countryside. Alex was so mesmerised by this that he absent-mindedly left our bottle of Manavi up there and had to run back up to fetch it after realising it was missing! There was no way we were leaving without it.

Exploring Signagi, the City of Love

En route to visiting the next winery, we drove to a viewpoint to see Signagi, the “City of Love”, from high above, before heading down to take a walk along its legendary fortified walls.

The Signagi City Walls are one of the largest fortifications in Europe. Built in the 18th century, the walls were a necessity to protect the city against the various invading forces that tried to stake claim to its fertile farming plains, left in the wake of the vanishing sea millennia ago.

Signagi old town Georgia
The view of Signagi from the high viewpoint high, with its farming plains in the distance

Walking through Signagi in February brought a special atmosphere as the drip of melting snow all around us gave off the sound of rain, even though it was a day of brilliant sunshine. We could smell the fires heating the buildings as we walked across the city walls.

This picturesque old town with its pretty buildings and hilltop views reminded me of the medieval citadels we had visited in the Italian region of Umbria, also known for its wineries. Before heading onwards, we had a walk around the cobbled centre of Signagi and explored some of the war monuments that lined a lovely park.

Visiting a newly renovated wine house in Signagi

Just a few minutes from the town, we arrived at the second winery, Kerovani. Ilia, our guide and the cousin of the owner, explained the production and distillation of chacha, a strong Georgian brandy made from grapes.

They create two different types of chacha in this winery. One is aged in Oak, while the other is aged in mulberry, which is their speciality at Kerovani. We also got to meet their beautiful cat, called q’urdzeni, the Georgian word for grape.

Kerovani winery opened in 2013 and produces around 250,000 bottles per year. All the wines produced here are natural and wasteless, using repurposed produce to fertilise the vines.

Stepping inside, we saw the qvevri pots that they use for producing wine. It was eye-opening to see just how big these qvevri are beneath the ground. Ilia explained that qvevri last forever, as long as they are cleaned properly, whereas oak barrels need replacing.

Using qvevri is a more economical method, and it is also the world’s oldest winemaking technique. The way of winemaking using qvevri is protected as a tradition in Georgia.

Kerovani winery tasting
Ready to try the wines at Kerovani winery!

One grape, three wines

The wine tasting at Kerovani took place in a house that is around 200 years old, and it was a fascinating experience of trying three different wines made from the same grape. I’d already sampled a few Rkatsiteli wines throughout our stay in Georgia, but none of them tasted quite as good as the ones we tried here.

We tried a sparkling version made using traditional methods (a “Pét-Nat”, which was so delicious we bought a bottle to take home), a European-style wine using steel barrels, and the qvevri type of wine using the traditional Georgia method. It’s amazing how the same grape produces such different wines depending on the style that is created to use it.

Experiencing a traditional supra with a local family

The final leg of our wine tour was, for us, the part that made it truly special and unforgettable. We were invited into the home of a Georgian winemaking family to experience the country’s true hospitality, and a traditional meal known as a supra.

As we arrived at Burjanadze, we were shown around the gardens, where pork skewers were smoking away on a barbecue. The winemaking facility here is small-scale, with an annual production of around just 2,000 bottles, as is the case with many families that live in this part of the Georgian countryside.

Burjanadze winery pork BBQ
Pork skewers sizzling outside as we arrived at the Burjanadze family home

A genuine family winery

It was only when we stepped inside the house that we realised we were actually in a real family home and not a public winery that anyone can visit. Three generations of the family were busy going about preparations – including 87-year-old Grandma! – and we were invited into the kitchen to try some wine and nibbles.

Bacho, the grandson, took on the role of main host and talked us through the wine and food, while his mother demonstrated how to make gozinaki, a sweet snack of walnuts and honey.

Gozinaki making demonstration Burjanadze
Bacho’s mother showed us how to make gozinaki

We had heard a lot throughout the tour that a glass of Georgian saperavi wine each day keeps you healthy, but this family’s grandmother was living proof of it. At 87 she has been drinking saperavi her whole life, and she still climbs the fruit trees.

The entire family is involved in the creation of the wines. Bacho explained how they even have a schedule for who gets up in the night to stir the fermenting wine in the qvevri pots.

It’s fitting, then, that their saperavi bottles are branded with fingerprints – one from each member of the family.

Burjanadze wine tasting in the family kitchen on our Georgia wine tour
The tasting table in the Burjanadze family kitchen

Sitting down for the supra

After enjoying the tastes of the Burjanadze family wines and a hot mulled wine, Bacho showed us through to the dining room, where a piano nestled in the corner, and other musical instruments were laid randomly around the room. We would later discover that these were not just for decoration!

The supra is a traditional Georgian family meal that is all about getting together, sharing emotions and enjoying one another’s company. Although it is fuelled by food and wine, the supra focuses on fostering genuine human connection. Its heartbeat is a series of toasts, hosted by the tamada (toastmaster).

Bacho was our tamada, with the blessing of his father, who also sat down to dine with us. With each toast, Bacho told us stories and explained the traditions of the supra.

Pushing our comfort zone, in the best way possible

Coming from the UK where we are famed for stiff upper lips, this part of the tour might have seemed uneasy, with emotions and ideas spilling out openly among all participants at the table. But when you open up and take part, you truly understand what it means to share your emotions and to have respect for other people.

Burjanadze family supra
Sitting down for the traditional supra in the Burjanadze household

As the supra progressed and the wine flowed, dish after dish arrived at the table, including those delicious pork skewers we had seen sizzling away outside. Bacho pulled out various stringed instruments and sung in beautiful harmony with his father and grandmother. Finally, at the end of the night, he played a duet song on the piano with his father that was capped off with rapturous applause.

Before we departed from the table, Bacho invited the guests to nominate someone to say a closing toast, thanking the family for their hospitality. There was a nervous quiet before we agreed Alex would do it, and he spoke for all of us when told our hosts it was a night we would never forget.

We had many fantastic experiences during our time in Georgia, but being able to feel the warmth and customs of a true Georgian family home is one that will always stay with us.

Why we think you should choose this wine tour over others

Hopefully our review has given you a flavour of what to expect on this tour, and maybe you’re already excited to book it!

But, to wrap up, here are some of the reasons we would highly recommend the Vines & Villages Signagi wine tour with Eat This Tours:

  • Immersive experience. We tried other wine tours during our time in Georgia, but none took us truly into the depths of Georgian family hospitality and winemaking culture as this one did.
  • Small group size. The intimacy of our group made the experience much more close up and personal than other wine tours we have experienced. You don’t just walk through a large winery with a quick tasting at the end; you are part of the experience.
  • You don’t need to be an expert! Georgia can be a bit overwhelming for newcomers when knowing where to start with wine tasting. But this was a very accessible and welcoming tour to learn more about the different grapes and methods of the most famous wine region.
  • AMAZING wine. We spent 10 days in Georgia, and we drank a LOT of wine in that time! But the best wine we tasted was on this tour.
  • Not one, not two, but THREE wineries. While many tours only include visits to one winery in the Kakheti region, this includes three! This gave us a greater breadth of cultural experiences, and it also meant the day was more neatly spaced out without long drives between stops.
  • Ease of transport. Public transport is a little difficult to use in Georgia outside of the main cities, and it can be especially hard to reach the wine regions without hiring a car. Driving in Georgia is not something I wanted to try having experienced taxis throughout the week of our stay! Taking this tour meant we didn’t need to worry about getting from place to place.

While we were given a complementary place on this wine tour, it is one that I would happily pay for myself. In fact, Alex and I have already talked about coming back with our friends in a couple of years to celebrate my 40th birthday on another tour.

How to book the tour (with exclusive discount!)

The easiest option is to book the Vines & Villages Signagi wine tour online – remember to use our unique code career5 for a 5% discount.

You can also arrange bookings by phone if you contact +995 511105991 on WhatsApp, or email on If you quote the coupon code above when booking by phone or email you can still avail the discount.

The tour is slightly more expensive than those you might find on sites like GetYourGuide, but it’s worth the extra investment in our opinion!

You can also browse more immersive Georgian wine tours on the Eat This Tours website.

Have you tried this wine tour in Georgia or any others? We’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below.

Looking for more tours from the Georgian capital? Read about our day trip to Armenia from Tbilisi.

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Looking for a unique wine tour in Georgia? We review a full day experience in Kakheti and Signagi with a traditional Georgian family dinner. #GeorgianWineLovers

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