Spend a perfect day in Georgia, visiting cellars, vineyards and enjoying local cuisine...
24 hours in Georgia
Drive east from Tbilisi towards Kakheti and make your first stop after about an hour at Niki Antadze’s cellar, near Manavi. Antadze is one of Georgia’s most respected natural winemakers, and works with old vines of Mtsvane Kakhuri and Rkatsiteli for his delicious skin-macerated wines (email@example.com). From there it’s another hour to Sighnaghi, a stunning hilltop town surrounded by prime wine country. John Okruashvili’s handsome cellar is bang in the centre of town, with qvevris buried below the newly constructed tasting rooms (en-gb.facebook.com/okrojohn).
John H Wurdeman V, an American who has lived in Georgia for decades, is one of the key figures in Georgian wine, not only as a winemaker at Pheasant’s Tears but as its enthusiastic ambassador. He and his wife, Keto, a skilled Georgian polyphonic singer, own a restaurant in Sighnaghi serving some of Georgia’s best food. After lunch drive down to see their new cellar and vineyards in the valley (www.pheasantstears.com).
Drive northwest for 90 minutes to see the 11th-century Alaverdi monastery that still produces qvevri wines (www.since1011.com). From there it’s a short hop to visit Gogi and Temur Dakishvili’s lovely family vineyards outside Telavi where you can taste red Saperavi and white Kisi (www.vitavinea.ge).
Just outside of Telavi, at Shuamta, is one of Georgia’s best-loved restaurants, Nikala. Chef Niko Kobishvili prepares many local favourites in an eatery composed of several rooms and houses (firstname.lastname@example.org). Marleta B&B in Telavi is one of the most attractive and personal family-run hotels in Georgia, filled with artworks by the owner’s family, and serves lovely informal food (email@example.com).