Wine Country - explore Kakheti and own taste in wine
This wonderful region is located in East part of Georgia where snowy mountains of Caucasus and wonderful fields and valleys stand side by side. The diverse natural landscape is organically joined with the unique samples of Georgian architecture. British publication (The Telegraph) published the following rating: “10 extraordinary places of the world about which you have never heard,” where fifth place is occupied by Kakheti. And you, when being full with emotions seeing nature of Kakheti, find yourself at Kakhetian trapeze, taste Kakhetian wine and listen to Kakhetian folk songs, will once again assured that you are at wonderful place.
Kakhetian wine – Kakheti is one of the oldest hearths of vine- and wine-growing. Archaeologists certify that vine was cultivated here 8 thousand years ago. Since then during centuries the native type of table wine was created and established, which is rather different from the existing types of wine. Here at about 80 species of vine are spread over. The diversity of wine in Kakheti will make you astonished: here every village, every city has its own receipts. Such well-knowns wines are traditionally produced in Kakheti like: Tsinandali, Napareuli, Teliani, Akhasheni, Mukuzani, Kindzmarauli, Gurjaani, Karnedakhuli, Tibaani, Manavi Green, Khashmi Saperavi and other.
History – Kakheti was an independent principality from the end of the eighth century. It was incorporated into the united Georgian Kingdom at the beginning of the eleventh century, but for less than a decade. Only in the beginning of the twelfth century did Georgian King David the Builder (c.1089–1125) incorporate Kakheti into his Kingdom successfully. After the disintegration of the Georgian Kingdom, Kakheti became an independent Kingdom in the 1460s. From the early 16th century till the early 19th century, Kakheti and its neighboring Kartli came under intermittent Iranian rule. In 1616, Shah Abbas deported hundreds of thousands of the ethnic Kakheti Georgian population to Iran and destroyed the region during his punitive campaign against Teimuraz I, his formerly most loyal subject. During all these centuries the region was an integral part of Iran and it supplied many notable generals, administrators, women and many hundred of thousands of peasants for the Iranian overlords. In 1762, the Kakhetian Kingdom was united with the neighboring Georgian Kingdom of Kartli into the Kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti under King Heraclius II. Following the Treaty of Georgievsk and the sack of Tbilisi by Agha Mohammad Khan, in 1801 the Kingdom of Kartli-Kakheti was annexed to the Russian Empire. Russian suzerainty over Kakheti and the rest of Georgia was recognized by Qajar Iran in the 1813 Treaty of Gulistan.
In 1918–1921 Kakheti was part of the independent Democratic Republic of Georgia, in 1922–1936 part of the Transcaucasian SFSR and in 1936–1991 part of the Georgian SSR. Since the Georgian independence in 1991, Kakheti has been a region of the republic of Georgia. Telavi is still its capital.
Kakheti is the unlimited treasure of Kakhetian folk music folklore. One of the distinguished classic, quire, polyphonic song is Chakrulo. The record of Georgian “Chakrulo” together with the sounds of earth and other selected examples of our civilization was sent to space by NASA in 1977. In 2001 Georgian polyphony was acknowledged by UNESCO as the masterpiece of verbal and non material inheritance of mankind; “Chakrulo” is included in the list of no material world inheritance monuments of UNESCO.
What to visit
is located on Alazani valley, on the background of snowy mountains of Caucasus Range. One of the largest Cathedral in Georgia is 50 meters higher. Buildings of various periods are united in Alaverdi Complex which is surrounded by gate (XVII-XVIII centuries). Palati, which is among the buildings of this type, is one of the most important in Georgia.
(House-Museum and Wine storage) – village in Telavi Municipality. Village is known for the fact that here the house-museum of Alexander Chavchavadze and XIX century unique wine cellar are located. Tsinandali Garden currently occupies 12 hectares. Park is considered as unique not only for plants of its diverse western, eastern and American exotic species, but from the point of its planning. In difference with European parks, Tsinandali Garden is created based on freer planning principles.
In 30ies of XIX century Alexander Chavchavadze made wine storage, where he used to collect unique European wines together with its own produced. Nowadays, the wine storage keeps about 16 500 bottles. Collection also keeps the wine “Saperavi” first bottled by Alexander himself in 1841.
(VI century) – Complex of Monastery Caves. Complex was created in I half of VI century by one of Asureli Father David. He went to the desert of Gareji together with his follower Lukiane and settled in small, natural grotto. So the Monastery was laid ground which in further centuries became known as David’s Lavra. David’s Lavra was the center for monastery life with the complex of cave monasteries.
(IV century) – monastery complex unites several monuments from which one of them – small sized basilica of II half of IV century – is the oldest in Georgia among the churches survived till now.
(VI century) – Monastery complex was created by one of Asureli fathers Zenon. According to legend, there the Academy of Ikalto was founded. The handwritten document of that time reached our era, which are dated back to later period and includes no data about the Academy.
the most beautiful place is located on the south slopes of main range of Caucasus, on the territory of Georgia. It was established in 1912. It occupies 19749 hectares. It is located 450-3500 meters from sea level.
There are 1500 species of florid plants in Forest Reserve. It is rich in endemic types. 42 species of mammals are registered in Preserve, together with 1200 bird families, 4 amphibian and 8 reptiles. The Museum of Flora and Fauna and High Mountainous Meteorology Station are in the Preserve. Lagodekhi State Forest Reserve has been awarded with the ordain of “Trait” (1972)
(village of Mirzaani) – Niko Pirosmanashvili (1862-1918) was well-known Georgian primitivism follower artist born in the village of Mirzaani and the Museum carrying his name is located in his native village. Creative work of Pirosmani is the greatest treasure for Georgian culture.
Museum represents the memorial complex of artist, which encompasses the residential house of artist and exhibition hall constructed in 1979. 14 original pictures are exhibited in the hall, also personal belongings of the painter and works of XX century Georgian artists.
complex forest reserve in the municipality of Dedoplistskaro. It was announced as Reserve in 1935. Total area is 10.143 hectares. There are 700 species of plants in Vashlovani. 43 species of mammals love there. In the end of 2003 the pre-Asian ounce that is leopard (Panthera Pardus Ciscaucasica) was found in Vashlovani. The rafting route organized by the Park Administration starts from the village Tsiteli Sabatlo, shoreline of Alazani river and reaches Mijani bay. It is very interesting to take tour by rubber boat on the river, the one bank of which is Georgia and other – Azerbaijan and the banks of which are covered with wonderful grove forest.
City of Love like it is named by Georgians is really wonderful form architectural point of view as well as for its natural condition. City is surrounded by 4 km gate which gives ancient charm to the city. Wonderful view opens from the city across the Alzani Valley and Mountains of Caucasus. In 2007 certain restoration works were made in the city, hotels and restaurants were opened. Signagi hosts Georgian and foreign guests with great pleasure. More than ten hotels function in the city.