TRUTH ABOUT HARVEST IN GEORGIA
I'd say that in Kakheti, the harvest starts in the end of August and is almost over. Imereti, Kartli, Guria, Samegrelo, Adjara and Racha harvest later. In the latter ones, the peak is in the end of September - mid-October.
If you want to come to harvest, you have to consider that NOT all wineries a) accept guests b) speak a bit English.
Among the "non hipster", real family ones, among the people that only grow grapes and then sell almost all of them to the big wineries (it's more than half of Kakheti), there are NOT many that would let the other people help, because it's important to work quickly and correctly. It's their source of income, one of very few (maybe also fruits or sheep). That's why people charge the tourists those 20-40 lari for "participation": just to cover this risk of ending up with less wine or grapes to sell to Winery Khareba or KTW. Plus, they would ALWAYS give you food and wine after work!
For example, today I was to Babaneuri village to the family of my friend, and we paid 25 lari each, exactly because of that.
Because the harvest like this is symbolic.
The real one starts early in the morning, and usually one has to be friends with the family to come there and REALLY work.
So, my advice would be either to contact the established wine companies for coming and taking part, or book the harvest tour such as I organise, or just make Georgian friends and come to work there at 5 AM. Not for nice pictures, but for the sake of wine.
And also, don't expect to see the "harvest festival". Real people won't hang the balloons and throw a cute party. It's municipalities who organise that sometimes for the tourists.
The real celebration of harvest is that moment when you take the shower after work at the vineyard and sit at the table with the family.
#storiesfromvineyards #lifehack_georgia #rtveli #harvest