It might seem odd that harvest season has such a great value for the whole country. But it becomes understandable after you witness rich Georgian traditions related to the harvest period. Most people, even those that live permanently in the city, try to come back to their home villages and help out with the harvest.
Any vineyard owner is always delighted by provided interest and help in the process of delivery of wine. That's why tourists visiting Georgia can participate in rtveli as well. If you want to be involved, you just got to know some special words for traditional tools in wine making. Those are godori, an oblong basket to put picked grapes; satskneheli, a wooden tub for grape pressing with a hole in it, from which the juice streams into a special container; qvevri, an egg-shaped clay tank in which the grapes go through the fermentation process, and the natural flavorful wine is born; marani, a basement, where qvevris are being concealed, and the fermentation procedure continues. Prepared wine is also stored in marani because of the temperature conditions.
Not only do people gather plenitude of crops, fruit and vegetables, but most importantly they start gathering grapes for wine. The exhausting harvest days always end up in a huge festivity, often involving the whole village, with dances, laughter and of course famous Georgian toasts. The most well-known regions for grape-gathering are Racha, Kakheti, and Imereti.
When is the best time to witness the rtveli grape harvest in Georgia?
The best season to enjoy the rtveli grape harvest festivities in Georgia is between September and October. During this period, grape growers welcome both locals and visitors to participate in the grape-gathering process, which includes dancing, singing, wine-drinking, and laughter - all integral traditions of the harvest season in the country. Show more
What are the traditional tools used in wine making during rtveli?
A range of traditional tools are used in wine-making during rtveli, most of which serve specific purposes. These include godori, a long basket for the grapes; satskneheli, which is a wooden tub used for grape pressing, and qvevri, an egg-shaped tank made of clay and used for fermentation. Additionally, marani, a cellar where the qvevri is hidden and the fermentation process takes place, is also used to store wine. Tourists partaking in the grape-gathering process can become actively involved in the ritual. Show more
Where are the most well-known regions for grape-gathering during rtveli in Georgia?
The regions in Georgia where grape-gathering is most well-known during rtveli are Kakheti, Racha, and Imereti. These regions boast long-lasting wine-growing customs, which have gained popularity among tourists visiting Georgia. Visitors get the chance to experience traditional Georgian customs and local wines, meet grape growers and makers, and even sample wines as a part of the community. Show more
What kind of festivity takes place at the end of the exhausting harvest days in Georgia?
At the conclusion of a day's strenuous grape-gathering activities in Georgia, a vibrant celebratory festivity begins, often involving the whole community. Participants partake in lively music, dance, unlimited wine drinking, and feasting on traditional Georgian cuisine. Such occasions promote communal solidarity and often last long into the night. Tourists tend to feel a bond with Georgia's traditions during the festivity and appreciate the importance of winegrowing in Georgian life. Show more
How can tourists participate in the rtveli grape harvest in Georgia and be involved in the wine-making process?
Tourists can gain first-hand experience of traditional winemaking practices during rtveli in Georgia. They participate in the grape-gathering and pressing processes, wine fermentation, and other wine-making procedures. Tourists learn how to use traditional tools such as qvevri, godori, and experience age-old techniques applied in Georgian wine-making and production. Vineyard owners also gladly provide visitors with the opportunity to take part in the process and participate in traditional Georgian festivities as a reward for their contribution. Show more