Taking place every year in September/October, the wine harvest or Rtveli is a joyous time of year in Georgia – particularly in the country’s biggest wine region, Kakheti.

If you’re lucky enough to be visiting Georgia in autumn, I strongly recommend heading out to Kakheti to see the country’s UNESCO-Listed winemaking tradition in action and experience one of Georgia’s best festivals for yourself.

Not every vineyard is open to visitors so you need to do your research. This quick guide to Rtveli 2022 shows you what to expect, and includes a list of wineries and tour companies that are offering harvest experiences this year.

If you know of any other Rtveli celebrations or tours that I’ve missed, please share the details in the comments so I can add them to the list. Thank you!

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.

When is Rtveli 2022?

This year’s harvest started as early as August in some parts of Kakheti. Most vineyards will start plucking grapes from September 3/4 or September 10/11 onwards. Some will harvest all their vines over a few days, while others will space it out over several weeks.

In Kakheti, the harvest will continue throughout the month of September and potentially into the first weeks of October (TBC). Other wine regions such as Kartli and Imereti will start the harvest later, between mid-September and mid-October. Some regions around the Black Sea including Guria might go as late as November.

Every winery works to a different schedule depending on the weather conditions, their elevation, the types of grapes they grow, the sugar content of the grapes, and the winemaker’s preferences. So there’s a good chance you can see grapes being picked all throughout the autumn months.

Last year, devastating hailstorms damaged huge swathes of vines in Kakheti. This year, they are forecasting a bumper harvest.

A group of people harvest grapes as part of the annual Rtveli festival in Georgia.
Rtveli 2020 at Wine Yard N1. A big thanks to Tika for the photo!

What happens during Rtveli?

While Rtveli is a lot of hard work, it’s also a time of celebration. There’s a great sense of community as everyone pitches in to get the job done. After long days in the fields, there is much feasting, toasting and merry making in the evenings.

Rtveli has huge cultural significance in Georgia and is also associated with music, dance, singing, and the preparation of special autumn foods.

Typical Rtveli activities include:

  • Grape picking. Done by hand using buckets or crates.
  • Crushing. Either mechanised or done the old-fashioned way by stomping the grapes in a wooden wine press called a Satsnakheli.
  • Fermenting the grapes. Once processed, the grapes are placed in Qvevri, huge earthenware vessels buried underground. Some commercial wineries use European methods but this is the traditional Georgian way.
  • Supra. At day’s end, a huge feast is prepared for the workers. Usually a long table covered with Lurji Supra blue tablecloths is laid out with food. Accompanied by much drinking and toasting of course!
  • Wine tasting. It’s a tradition to drink last season’s wine. Many places offer a degustation as part of the Rtveli experience.
  • Churchkhela-making. Georgia’s famous walnut or hazelnut ‘candy’ is made using grape juice and also prepared in autumn.
  • Folk music & dance. Many venues organise performances to add to the atmosphere. Even at low-key celebrations there will often be singing around the table.

While many of these activities are a traditional part of Rtveli, some places will ‘augment’ the experience for tourists. Ultimately it’s up to you to decide what kind of Rtveli you want to have.

A set of clay qvevris on a field in Kakheti, Georgia.
Qvevri in Kakheti.

How can I participate in Rtveli?

There are many different ways to experience Rtveli. You could spend an hour at a well-established commercial winery observing the process, spend a day or two at a smaller vineyard for a hands-on experience – or you might get a personal invitation to a family winery where everything is done at a much more intimate scale.

It’s important to note that not every winery is open to visitors during Rtveli. This is their busiest time of year, and many winemakers (understandably) prefer to focus on the actual winemaking rather than accommodating guests.

I don’t recommend showing up at any old winery and expecting to be hosted. Instead, I suggest you either:

  1. Organise to visit a winery with special Rtveli events. Offerings range from a few hours to full-day festivities and overnight programs. Places are usually limited, so it’s essential to book in advance. See the list in the next section for ideas.
  2. Book a tour from Tbilisi. My preferred company, Eat This! Food & Wine Tours, is hosting a range of Rtveli tours this year. See here for details and use the coupon code wanderlush to get a 5% discount.
  3. Book a guesthouse in Kakheti and ask your host. It’s more than likely they will know someone who needs a helping hand – but you’d better be prepared to roll up your sleeves and pull your weight!

Confirmed Rtveli tours from Tbilisi for 2022

This list is a work in progress – if you know of any other Rtveli events, please share the details in the comments so I can add them. Thank you!

🍇 Real Rtveli experience with Eat This! Tours

  • Location: Kakheti (various small wineries)
  • 2022 dates: September 17 & 18 in Telavi; September 25, 26, 29 & 30 in Tsinandali; October 2 in Sagarejo; October 8 & 12 in Ateni; October 14 in Bolnisi (dates subject to change +/- 3 days)
  • Price: From 300-420 GEL / person / day (including return transfers from Tbilisi)
  • Bookings: Website

My preferred wine tour operator in Kakheti, Eat This! Tours, is running a huge number of Rtveli events all over Georgia throughout the 2022 harvest period. Choose from full-day or overnight itineraries that include grape picking and stomping, a supra, and all the wine you can drink.

Eat This! work with small family wineries to craft intimate, authentic tours – so you can be sure their Rtveli experience is the real deal. The grapes you pick will be used for this year’s wine, guaranteed!

Groups are limited to 6-12 people. Prices vary depending on the length of the tour and the size of the group. Private custom tours are also available.

Bookings essential – inquire on the website. Use the coupon code wanderlush when you book to get a small discount.

🍇 Simulation Rtveli experience with Eat This! Tours

  • Location: Kakheti (various small wineries)
  • 2022 dates: Every Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday throughout September & October
  • Price: From 450 GEL / person (including return transfers from Tbilisi)
  • Bookings: Website

Those grapes don’t wait for anyone! If the actual harvest doesn’t line up with your travel dates or work schedule, then a Simulation Rtveli Experience is the next best thing.

With guaranteed departures every week throughout September and October, this tour recreates the Rtveli experience in a non-cheesy way. You’ll first head to an independent winery to pick and stomp grapes, then visit a qvevri workshop, participate in a khinkali masterclass, and eat lunch at a wine estate.

Bookings essential – inquire on the website. Use the coupon code wanderlush when you book to get a small discount.

🍇 Grape Harvest Tour with Tamara Ninidze

  • Location: Vakiri, Kakheti
  • 2022 dates: September 10 (one day only)
  • Price: 220 GEL / person (including return transfers from Tbilisi)
  • Info & bookings: Facebook

This one-day-only organic harvest experience at Kakhetian House Vakirelebi includes harvesting, pressing grapes, churchkhela-making, and a farm-to-table feast with live music. Tamara Ninidze, the founder of the winery, will act as your guide.

🍇 Harvest and Supra with Trails & Wines

  • Location: Kakheti
  • 2022 dates: September 11 (one day only)
  • Price: 240 GEL / person (including return transfers from Tbilisi)
  • Info & bookings: Facebook

Join a local family in the Alazani Valley for a morning of grape picking and a hearty supra accompanied by wine expert Daria Kholodilina and a professional photographer who will capture it all on camera.

Seats are limited – reserve your spot via Facebook.

🍇 Traditional Wine Harvest with Keti’s House

  • Location: Shilda village, Kvareli (30 mins from Telavi)
  • 2022 dates: Every weekend from September 16th until mid-November
  • Price: 95 GEL / person (harvest only)
  • Bookings: Facebook

This popular family guesthouse in Kvareli is once again hosting Rtveli excursions to a nearby vineyard every weekend throughout the harvest season.

The full long-weekend program (midday Friday to Sunday afternoon) includes a khinkali cooking glass, churchkhela-making, grape harvesting and crushing. Folk musicians are available on request for an extra fee. Accommodation and board are also offered, and the hosts can organise transfers to and from Tbilisi.

If you prefer just to visit for the day, there’s also the option to join them on Saturday for the harvest and a five-wine degustation only.

Places are limited and bookings are essential.

🍇 Harvest in Kakheti with Tamuka Araviashvili

  • Location: Kakheti
  • 2022 dates: September 17-18 (overnight)
  • Price: On enquiry
  • Info & bookings: Facebook

Join certified sommelier and Wine Wednesday Tbilisi founder Tamuka Aravishvili for a weekend Rtveli experience. This event includes harvesting grapes and visits to several wineries, plus accommodation and meals.

🍇 Rtveli 2022 with Wine Not? x Isev Kvareli

  • Location: Kvareli
  • 2021 dates: October 1-2 (single-day or overnight)
  • Price: 150 GEL-250 GEL / person (including return transfers from Tbilisi)
  • Info & bookings: Facebook

Organised by Wine Not!, a popular wine bar in Tbilisi, this wine weekend runs you through the whole process from vineyard to Qvevri. Bread-baking and khinkali-making are also part of the program. If you opt for the full weekend experience, a supra dinner and accommodation at Isev Kvareli is included in the price.

Vintage participants get a 20% discount off wine and cheese boards at the bar for a full month following the harvest – as if you needed another reason!

Confirmed Rtveli venues for 2022

If you prefer to travel to Kakheti independently, the following vineyards are hosting tourists during the 2022 Rtveli period.

🍇 Wine Yard N1

  • Location: Akhalsopeli village, Kvareli (50 mins from Telavi)
  • 2022 dates: Daily from September 3 until the end of the month
  • Price: 20-30 GEL / person (depending on the group size)
  • Bookings: Facebook or phone (+995 577 11 06 52 or +995 557 07 84 84)

Run by my friend Tika and her family, this fourth-generation wine cellar produces Qvevri wines from grapes grown in the Kindzmarauli microzone.

This year they are hosting guests every day throughout the harvest period to pick and crush grapes, enjoy a supra, listen to live folk music and participate in dance workshops.

This is truly one of the most beautiful venues in Kakheti for lunch and a wine tasting. A great choice for families or groups of friends looking for a full-day experience.

Bookings essential.

🍇 TEMI Community

  • Location: Gremi village (25 mins from Telavi)
  • 2022 dates: Throughout September
  • Price: From 20 GEL per person (1 hour)
  • Bookings: Facebook or website

TEMI Community is a social enterprise that employs more than 70 people of different abilities to work on a range of agricultural projects, including a vineyard.

They host events throughout the year, including grape picking and crushing during September. Churchkhela making, meals, wine tastings and other activities are also available on request.

Grape picking and crushing requires a minimum of 10 or 12 people, so it’s best to contact them in advance and plan your visit at the same time as others. Or else get a group of friends together – it’s a beautiful venue and the proceeds go to a great cause.

Bookings essential.

🍇 Javakishvilis Cellar

  • Location: Akhalsopeli village, Kvareli (50 mins from Telavi)
  • 2022 dates: Throughout September
  • Price: 25 GEL / person or 100 GEL / group (4 or more people)
  • Bookings: Facebook

This castle-like winery with Qvevri cellar, beautiful gardens and trellised arbours is a picture-perfect setting for Rtveli.

Every day throughout the month of September they are hosting guests for grape picking, crushing, wine tasting, communal meals in the garden, and making shoti bread in a traditional tone oven.

Bookings recommended.

🍇 Berika Winery

  • Location: Velistsikhe (45 mins from Telavi)
  • 2022 dates: Throughout September
  • Price: On request
  • Bookings: Facebook

If you want to get your hands dirty, Berika family winery is offering guests the chance to join them in the vineyard throughout September, with tours available on request. Prices depend on the size of your group; discounts are available if you organise your own transport from Tbilisi.

As well as grape picking, you will tour the vineyard, do a wine tasting, eat a supra lunch, taste four wines, make churchkhela, and even view a collection of Soviet-era cars.

Bookings essential.

🍇 Schuchmann Wines Chateau

  • Location: Kisiskhevi (15 mins from Telavi)
  • 2022 dates: Daily from September 5-10
  • Price: On request
  • Bookings: Facebook

This upscale hotel-vineyard is known for its wine spa. Their full-day Rtveli package this year includes a tour of the property, bread-baking and churchkhela-making workshop, a chacha distilling demonstration, plus a supra meal and tasting of six house wines.

Bookings essential.

🍇 Chateau Mosmieri

  • Location: Kisiskhevi (15 mins from Telavi)
  • 2021 dates: Throughout September
  • Price: 60 GEL per person
  • Bookings: Facebook

This is a beautiful hotel-winery with a huge outdoor pool and views of the Greater Caucasus. Harvest festivities will take place every day during September, and include grape picking and culinary workshops.

Meals and accommodation are also available. Expect a very polished experience.

Bookings essential.

More resources for wine lovers


  1. Hey Emily, thank you for your really comprehensive and well structured information about Georgia. We especially sour provided My Maps material.

    Do you know wether there is a Sighnaghi Wine Festival this year?

    1. Hi Jenny – not that I’m aware of, sorry. There aren’t any vineyards super close to Sighnaghi because of its location on the hill. Kvareli would be your best bet – about an hour from Sighnaghi by road.

  2. I’ve been enjoying Reading your blogs, we film in and around Tbilisi for our YouTube channel.

    Just so you know WINE YARD N1 doesn’t let people harvest and crush everyday. We’ve been in touch with them to manage shooting since Sep but never match our schedule.
    They’ll only do pick & crush on Oct 5th and done for this year he said.

    We’ve been busy in Sep & haven’t filmed making wine yet. Still trying to find vine yard that allows us to do it on 14-15 Oct. I know it’s tight…

    Hey keep up with your good work! We really appreciate your detailed info on every blog!

    1. Hi Ikumi, sorry to hear you haven’t been able to organise a trip yet. Who did you speak to at Wine Yard? I know the owner and she told me they are picking every day, so that’s very strange. Perhaps things changed due to this crazy weather.

      My friend may be organising a trip to Kartli region in mid-October – I will share the details on my Facebook Page if it happens.

      Thanks so much for the comment and hope you’re enjoying your travels!

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