In a magnificent setting of the Alazani River Valley, stretching from north-west to south-east and covering over 110km between the Great Caucasus and Tsiv-Gombori mountain range, ancient winemaking land of Kakheti is situated. Known for its oenological traditions and history, Kakheti is also the largest and most diverse area in Georgia for quality winemaking. 22 500 hectares of vineyards, at altitudes of 250-650 meters above the sea level, are divided equally between white and red varieties, and contain seven of the most important Specific Viticulture Areas (or AOC as the French would say). On the right bank of the Alazani River you will find Tsinandali, Vazisubani, Akhasheni and Mukuzani AOCs, while Napareuli, Kvareli and Kindzmarauli AOCs nestle in the picturesque foothills of the Great Caucasus, at the left bank of the Alazani River. These appellations are internationally recognized for the production of elegant whites and profound and complex reds.
In the middle of Alazani Valley, lies Kakheti’s largest and the most important city – Telavi. It is on the outskirts of the city, on the way towards the mountains, where Telavi Wine Cellar was founded in 1915. For over a century, we have blended innovation with a sense of history, keeping faithful to the noble traditions of Kakhetian winemaking, while adapting to the modern methods of wine production and presenting unambiguously Georgian product to the most refined, and discerning global palate. The wines of Telavi Wine Cellar embody the personality and diversity of Georgian viticulture and highlight our determination to present the best of our diverse local grape varieties and distinguished terroir.
History of Georgian Wine
A great wine is the most sincere expression of the land and people that give it life. For that reason, the birth of wine culture, and the birth of Georgian culture, will forever be bound together. This statement is supported scientifically by the discovery of 8000-year-old seeds of cultivated grape variety, vitis vinifera sativa, along with the massive clay wine fermenting amphora, called “Qvevri” in the ancient settlements in Georgia. Many etymologists even consider the modern generic word “wine” to be derived from the ancient Georgian equivalent – “gvino”.
A great wine is the most sincere expression of the land and people that give it life. For that reason the birth of wine culture, and the birth of Georgian culture, will forever be bound together. During archaeological digs, seeds of cultivated grape variety “vitis vinifera sativa” dating back 7 – 6 thousand years BC, and 3 – 4 thousand year old massive clay wine fermenting amphoras, “Kvevri” have been uncovered from ancient settlements in modern Georgia, proving these statements accurate. Many etymologists even consider the modern generic word “wine” to be derived from the ancient Georgian word “gvino”.
Georgian culture is filled with legends, ceremonies, and traditions that portray the deepest appreciation for winemaking. Many famous poets, writers, and travelers of centuries past, describe Georgia in their writings and annals, as a land of ancient winegrowing and winemaking traditions. Among the firsts is Apollonius of Rhodes, who lauds Georgia in his Argonautica written around 295 BC.
The excellence and uniqueness of Georgian wines are based on the extensive indigenous grape varieties and perfect combination of soil and climate conditions. Centuries of trials have resulted in distinct wine styles from every region, from light-bodied whites to full-bodied reds and sweet wines, even Ice-wine! That said, it is safe to conclude that Georgia produces wines that suit any palate. In fact, painstaking devotion to vine has kept over 500 authentic Georgian grape varieties alive – 38 of which are used for commercial wine production today.