The town of Telavi is administrative and economic center of the Kakheti region. Once it was an important hub for caravans en route from Asia to Europe, while in X-XI centuries and later, in XVII-XVIII centuries the town was the capital of the Kingdom of Kakheti. In downtown of Telavi survives the residence of Kakheti kings which bears the moniker of ‘Batonis Tsikhe’ (Fortress of Master). The complex includes two churches, royal palace, bathhouse, tunnel, fortress and 5-meter wall where residents of the
town found refuge during hostile invasions. Georgia is a wine land, and Telavi is the most important vineyard and wine-producing flashpoint. During millennia the unique culture of growing grapes and producing wine was shaping up on the territory of the country. Well-known microzones of wine-making are part of this culture: Tsinandali, Teliani, Napareuli, Vazisubani,
Mukuzani, Akhasheni, Gurjaani, Kardenakhi, Tibaani, Kindzmarauli, Manavi, Eniseli, Gremi. Wine produced from grapes grown in these microzones is characterized by taste specific and typical for these places. ‘Tsinandali’ is the best known and popular Georgian wine. The microzone is situated in Telavi, on the right bank of Alazani river and includes villages: Akura, Vanta, Busheti, Kvemo Khodasheni, Tsinandali, Kisiskhevi, Kondoli, Nasamkharali, Shalauri, Kurdgelauri, Vardisubani. Light straw-colored, dry wine ‘Tsinandali’ has been produced since 30-ies of the XIX century from ‘Rkatsiteli’ and ‘Kakhuri Mtsvane’ varieties of grapes. In the first half of the XIX century famous Georgian poet and public figure, Alexander Chavchavadze, along with beautiful palace and surrounding garden, constructed also a winery, vodka distillery and huge underground wine cellar in Tsinandali. He was the first who founded the collection of wine which is home to Georgian and European 16500 wine bottles of 70 brands up to these days. The oldest exponent of the collection is Polish aroma of 1814. From Georgian wines preserved in the collection the oldest is ‘Saperavi’ of 1841. In International exhibitions held in different times this collection was awarded 11 Gold Medals.
1. River Lopota rises on the height of 2560 m on the South slope of Andarazani range (Southern bifurcation of Kakheti Kavkasioni). As it flows, it gets waters of some other tributaries and joins river Alazani from the left bank 33 km away from its start. 20 km from Telavi, near townlet of Napareuli, in the heart of mountains covered with deciduous trees, river Lopota water created artificial lake with the girth of 1 km and maximum depth – 4 m. In 2008 recreational zone was built on the banks of the lake. Nowadays several hotels operate here. Lake is used to breed fish including common carp, crucian carp, bullhead, cat-fish, sturgeon. The lake is surrounded by cycling lane.
Location: Alazani plain, foot-hills of North-East slope of Gombori Range
Distance: 90 km from Tbilisi (from Gombori Range).
Sea level: 550-800 m
Climate: middle mountain (lower belt) climate, winter mild, with low snow cover, summer moderately warm, dry, mean
temperature in year – 12 degrees centigrade
Average annual precipitation: 700-800 mm