Planning a short excursion to the wine region from Tbilisi or want to spend a few days travelling the Wine Route?

There are hundreds (if not thousands) of wineries in Georgia’s Kakheti region that welcome visitors for vineyard tours and degustations. Each one is a little bit different, and it can be very difficult to decide where to go if you’re unfamiliar with the area.

This list brings together 12 of my personal favourite small family cellars and commercial wineries in Kakheti, all of which showcase traditional Georgian qvevri wine-making methods and European techniques.

As well as wine tastings, these venues offer vineyard tours, wine-making demonstrations, food masterclasses, sit-down supra meals, and more.

This list of the best wineries in Kakheti is very subjective! If you have a favourite winery in Georgia you think I should add to the list, please leave me a comment at the end – I’d love to check out your recommendations, too.

Love wine? Also see:

Please note: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I may earn a commission if you make a purchase by clicking a link (at no extra cost to you). Learn more.

Map of the best wineries in Kakheti

A map of Kakheti wineries in Georgia.
Map data copyright Google Maps 2022.

Small family wineries in Kakheti

These wineries all offer an intimate, typically Georgian wine experience. One of the best things about visiting smaller wineries is getting to hear directly from the vitiner about the family’s connection to wine – which in many cases spans multiple generations.

For this list, I’ve chosen wineries that are more immersive – meaning that in most cases, they do winemaking onsite and have vineyards on the property or nearby.

There are many, many more places in Kakheti where you can taste wine made off site, including Pheasant’s Tears and Cradle of Wine Marani in Sighnaghi, and Family wine Cellar Rostomaant Marani and many others in Telavi.

Reservations are essential for all these venues, so be sure to call or message at least a few days in advance.

1. Akido

Akido (‘bunch of grapes’ in Georgian) blends wine, food, history and culture, and is one of my favourite Kakheti wineries for an all-round immersive experience.

Akido is a family run business managed by a young couple and their parents. The property is set on the edge of a sprawling vineyard (one of two that Akido owns, the other being in Akhmeta) close to Ikalto Monastery.

The highlight is a beautiful early 20th-century Kakhetian house, a family heirloom that the owners have renovated and decked out in the old style, complete with archival family photos, panduri instruments and Kakhetian carpets.

Another unique feature of this venue is the marani cellar, which has a dirt floor so they can ‘water’ the clay qvevri when it gets too hot.

Tastings are held on the house’s wooden balcony. Expect a beautifully set table overflowing with wine and snacks (their pkhali is amazing). My favourite of Akido’s wines is their peppery Saperavi. They are also known for their Rkatsiteli.

The winery has a big yard and is kid-friendly. Tastings, sit-down meals (lunch or dinner) and khachapuri masterclasses are available with prior reservation. In autumn, Akido also offers a Rtveli vintage experience.

2. Giuaani Winery

A modern building at Giuaani Winery near Tbilisi.
Giuaani Winery.

Located in Manavi village in Sagarejo, just an hour’s drive from Tbilisi, Giuaani is a very popular spot for a short escape from the city. As well as a wine cellar, the property has a beautiful garden and a big outdoor pool.

The Giuashvili family has been making wine since 1894. They founded their new winery in 2010, making wine from ancient grape varietals endemic to the area. Their 22 types of wine have earned them various awards, including three medals in the 2019 International Qvevri Wine Competition. They mostly do qvevri and barrel-aged wines – I like the Giuaani semi-sweet red and the Manavi dry white.

Giuaani is an extremely well-run operation with passionate, professional English-speaking staff. The degustation is a top-notch, as are the charcuterie boards.

They offer two tour packages, both with a comprehensive tour of the winery, vineyard and qvevri techniques followed by a degustation of either four wines (30 GEL) or six wines (50 GEL).

3. Wine Yard N1

On the opposite side of the Alazani Valley in Akhasopheli village, Wine Yard N1 is another excellent family winery where you can quite easily spend a whole day. The winery was founded by Tika Dugashvili, a TV journalist who returned home to Kvareli, and is run with the help of her parents, Eteri and Tamazi, and siblings Maka and Giorgi.

Tastings of family wine are done in the garden under the pear trees or on the terrace. Wine Yard N1 also serves generous meals, and offers tonis puri bread and churchkhela masterclasses. In autumn, they offer a Rtveli experience with live music, grape picking and pressing, and a big supra feast.

Tastings cost 50 GEL per person for all you can eat and drink.

4. Vakho Oqruashvili Wine Cellar

A man pours Georgian qvevri wine into a glass from a clay bowl.
Tasting wine straight from the qvevri at Vakho’s.

This tiny family cellar is a great place to observe the entire qvevri wine-making process from grape to bottle. One of the things that stands out in my memory is seeing the architecture of the family marani and the special funnels built into the wall to channel the pressed grape juice directly into the qvevri.

This was also the first place where I tasted wine straight from the qvevri in a traditional clay bowl. It’s a very memorable experience!

After your wine tasting and tour, I encourage you to stop for lunch here – the food, especially the Kakhetian-style mtsvadi BBQ, is amazing.

A huge spread of Kakhetian food at a winery in Georgia.
Lunch at Vakho’s Wine Cellar.

Vitiner Vakho Oqruashvili and his wife Eka run the operation, helped by Vakho’s parents, Vano and Elsa. The whole family is incredibly welcoming and passionate. Georgian hospitality at its best.

5. Shalauri Wine Cellar

Bottles of Shalauri Georgian wine.
Shalauri wine degustation.

Located on the outskirts of Telavi city, this mid-sized artisanal winery was founded by a group of four friends. They produce low-interference qvevri wines exclusively, including a wonderful Saperavi made from 30-year-old vines from the Tsinandali microzone. The red wines are aged for four years for a deep, full-bodied taste.

Shalauri produces around 25,000 bottles annually for export around the world. The vibe here is still very intimate, especially if you’re lucky enough to be shown around by one of the co-founders. During my visit, David Buadze showed us around the tasting hall, open-air kitchen and cellar, which holds no fewer than 43 qvevri.

The food here is exquisite, and the view of the Greater Caucasus from the dining verandah is absolutely breathtaking. Shalauri enjoys one of the best locations in all of Kakheti.

6. Friends’ Cellar (Nelkarisi Estate)

A beautiful modern winery in Kakheti, with mountain and vineyard views.
Friends’ Cellar in Nekresi.

Founded in 2009 by a group of wine-obsessed friends from 11 different countries, Friends’ Cellar is a secluded winery with majestic views and a beautiful, modern tasting room-restaurant. Located near Nekresi Monastery in Shilda, it falls within the Kindzmarauli microzone.

At the time of my most recent visit, the Friends’ operation was overseen by a young Georgian winemaker. The cellar is now in the process of rebranding as Nelkarisi – the name is a tribute to the ancient Mithraic city of the same name that was located here and had its own winemaking tradition.

Friends’ Cellar approaches winemaking by combining Georgian traditions with European-style techniques. They use both qvevri and vats for fermentation. Their signature wine is a Saperavi, and I quite enjoyed their Georgian-European ‘fusion’ blends too.

A charcuterie board at a winery in Georgia.
Wine tasting at Friends’ Cellar.

Friends’ offers four tour packages that include touring the estate, visiting the ancient Nelkarisi ruins, and tasting wines accompanied by cheese, Kakhetian sunflower oil and churchkhela. A-la-carte meals are also available, and they host various masterclasses throughout the year, including courses on chacha distillation.

7. Ghvardzelashvili’s Marani

Winemaker Giorgi Ghvardzelashvili giving a tour of his vineyards.
Giorgi Ghvardzelashvili giving a tour of his vineyards.

Ghvardzelashvili’s Marani is unique because it’s a one-man operation. Giorgi is an old-school winemaker, incredibly passionate and driven to produce the best natural wines possible. Believing that wine absorbs the energy of the maker, he only tends the qvevri when he’s in a good mood. I think that says it all!

Giorgi’s cellar and family home sit right amongst his two-hectares of vineyards. Some of his vines are more than 40 years old. A proud member of the Natural Wine Association, his entire process is organic. This is a great place to learn about bio and low-intervention wines.

A Georgian winemaker tops up a glass with Saperavi at a wine tasting in Kakheti.
Georgian wine tasting at Ghvardzelashvili’s Marani.

Ghvardzelashvili’s wines include unfiltered reds and whites, all made in six qvevri using grapes from the Tsinandali microzone. Giorgi cultivates a couple of rare varietals, including Zhghia.

8. Nasrashvili Family Winery

Located in far south-eastern Kakheti in a lesser-visited corner of wine country, Nasrashvili Family Winery is on the way to Vashlovani and Lagodekhi and a great place to stop if you’re headed to either of these popular national parks.

The family has 7 hectares of vineyards and a beautiful tasting room and cellar. Beka Nasrashvili – a psychologist turned vitiner – is one of an increasing number of young Georgians who are returning to winemaking. The label’s branding is fun and youthful, and the wines themselves are mature and well-considered.

Tastings include some very unique wines, including Tavkveri dry red and Shavkapito.

9. TEMI Community Winery

A group of people at TEMI Community Winery, a social enterprise winery in Kakheti, Georgia.
Photo: TEMI Community.

Run by social enterprise TEMI Community, this is one of the most unique wineries in Georgia. The organisation traces its history back to 1989 and supports around 70 people from different backgrounds and with different abilities. Their work is truly inspiring and TEMI is more than deserving of support.

TEMI is located in the Kindzmarauli Grand Cru microzone and produces high-quality, organic qvevri wines from Rkatsiteli and Saperavi grapes. Their wines are exported to Europe and have won TEMI multiple awards.

The tourist-facing part of the operation is incredibly well run, offering a program of different food and wine experiences, cultural activities, bicycle rentals, and more.

Wine tastings start from 15 GEL per person, and they also organise grape harvesting and crushing in autumn and qvevri opening in spring. View the entire program here.

Larger commercial wineries & wine estates in Kakheti

I always recommend including a mix of smaller maranis and larger wineries in your itinerary so you can compare the different techniques and traditions. Not all Georgian wine-makers are small-scale, and many of the larger wineries are equally as interesting to visit.

These larger wineries are open year-round and usually do not require an advance booking. If you’re travelling in winter, you still might want to phone ahead to notify them of your visit just in case.

Tours and tastings are more formal, and instead of it just being you and the wine-maker, you will likely be part of a small group.

10. Winery Khareba / Kvareli Wine Cave

Kvareli Wine Cave at Winery Khareba, an underground wine tunnel in Kakheti Georgia.
Kvareli Wine Cave at Winery Khareba.

One of the largest wine exporters in Georgia, Khareba produces 50 types of wine, sparkling wine, chacha and grape seed oil from 30 different varieties of grape. Their winery on the north-eastern side of the Alazani Valley is a massive complex that includes the famous Kvareli Wine Cave, a network of cellar ‘tunnels’ carved from the mountainside.

The Wine Cave was built in 1962 and was meant to be a fallout shelter. The stable temperature (12-16° C year-round) is perfect for storing wine. You can see more than 26,000 bottles stacked in the 7.7 km network of tunnels, constructed by the same company as the Tbilisi Metro!

Khareba is very commercial, but it’s still one-of-a-kind and a must-visit in Georgia in my opinion. Tours of the cave cost 5 GEL per person, or you can opt for a tour plus tasting of two wines for 12-15 GEL. A package of four-wine tastings, a chacha degustation, bread-baking class and churchkhela-making workshop costs 40 GEL per person.

11. Kindzmarauli Corporation

Another of the biggest names in Georgian wine, Kindzmarauli was founded in 1533 and originally produced wine for the royal family (hence why it’s partially encased in the walls of Kvareli Fortress). Relaunching in 1924, it was one of the only wineries to keep on bottling after the fall of the USSR. That makes it one of the oldest continuously operating wineries in Georgia.

Kindzmarauli turns out an impressive 1.5 million bottles every year. This is one of the best wineries in Kakheti to visit if you want an insight into Georgian wine production on a mass scale.

A woman works on a wine conveyor belt at Kindzmarauli Winery in Georgia.
The production line at Kindzmarauli winery.

A tour of the grounds and a sit-down wine tasting costs around 20 GEL per person. There is also a bottle shop and a new restaurant on the grounds.

12. Tsinandali Estate

Chavchavadze House Museum on the Tsinandali Estate.
Chavchavadze House Museum on the Tsinandali Estate.

Tsinandali is steeped in history and is a touchstone of Georgian wine heritage. The estate was established in the 19th century by Georgian diplomat and statesman, Garsevan Chavchavadze. When Prince Alexander Chavchavadzde inherited the estate from his father, he went about transforming it into a hub for culture and the arts, building a gorgeous palace on the grounds (now the Chavchavadze House Museum) and establishing a winery.

One of Chavchavadze’s major contributions was popularising European winemaking techniques in Kakheti. In 1841, the first bottle of Georgian Saperavi was corked behind these doors.

Today, the property hosts a museum, an oenotheque where thousands of old bottles are stored, and wine tasting room, two hotels (including the Radisson Collection Tsinandali, one of my top choice of accommodation in Kakheti), and several bars and restaurants.

Old bottles of wine stacked in a oenotheque wine library at Tsinandali, Georgia.
The oenotheque at Tsinandali.

A visit to the House Museum of Alexander Chavchavadze and oenotheque costs 10 GEL, and you can add on a wine tasting for an extra 2 GEL. There’s also an option to try five wines for 35 GEL.

How to visit these wineries in Kakheti

Kakheti wine tours from Tbilisi

My preferred wine tour provider is Eat This! Tours, a boutique company that focuses on family maranis and employs professional sommelier-guides. All their pre-designed itineraries incorporate some sightseeing as well, or you can tailor your own custom trip. This is the perfect way to get a taste of the wine region if you’re on a tight timeline.

Read more about Eat This! Tours here, or view the program and enquire about a booking here. Use the promo code wanderlush at checkout to save 5%.


If you prefer to explore Georgia’s wine region DIY, you can usually organise a car and driver when you arrive in Kakheti. Your guesthouse should be able to help with this. This is what I did the first time I visited Georgia. It’s a budget-friendly option, but be aware that most drivers only take you to the big-name wineries rather than small maranis.

It’s also possible to rent a car and drive yourself around Kakheti. I did this last winter – it gives you greater flexibility, but remember that drink driving is prohibited in Georgia so you might not be able to partake in tastings!

I recommend using Local Rent to find an affordable rental car in Georgia.

Hire a driver through GoTrip

If you want the flexibility of a car but the convenience of a driver, GoTrip is a great compromise. You can design a full day round-trip or one-way driving route from Tbilisi or your accommodation in Kakheti, stopping off at as many wineries as you wish.

Build your own Kakheti road trip itinerary here on GoTrip. Write the names of any wineries you want to visit in the comments field when you book.

More Georgian wineries beyond Kakheti

Kakheti might be Georgia’s biggest and most productive wine region, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg. There are plenty of other places to visit in Georgia if you’re interested in wine.

Other major wine regions where you can find vineyards and cellar doors include:

Imereti: There are dozens of wineries in Georgia’s second-biggest wine route outside Kutaisi, including Baia’s Wine and cellars around Terjola and Baghdati. The harvesting and wine-making techniques are the same, but the grapes and wines are often very different.

Racha-Lechkhumi: Mountainous Racha in Georgia’s north-west is known for sweet red Khvanchkara wine, which you can sample at guesthouses and small cellars around Ambrolauri and Oni.

Upper Adjara & Guria: Many of the small wineries around Keda can be visited on a day trip from Batumi. Subtropical Gurian vineyards are very unique – one of my favourites is Menabde Winery outside Ozurgeti.

Bolnisi: This wine region south of Tbilisi also offers a window onto the history and legacy of Swabian Germans in Georgia. Many old cellars from the late 1800s have survived. Brother’s Cellar is a popular winery in Bolnisi.

You might also be interested in…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *