Welcome to wine country! The surrounding mountains and valleys of Telavi form a picturesque setting for its rich historical, architectural and natural monuments. Situated in the Alazani River valley, the views of the Greater Caucasus Range make it a scenic destination and the centre of Georgian viticulture. Kakhetian wines, of which there are over seventy kinds, are well known throughout the world.
Once an important city of the ancient Kakhetian kingdom, the fortunes of Telavi have risen and fallen with its rulers. Part of the Silk Road, it then became the seat of the Kakhetian tsars. The Batonis Tsikhe, or Master's Fortress, the former residence of these tsars was built in the 17th century and now houses an art gallery and history museum. The complex contains the walls, the palace, two churches, the bath and an escape tunnel out of the fortress. Telavi attracts architects, scholars and art historians to study its medieval preserves. Other important heritage monuments include the 6th century churches of St. Mary and of The Holy Trinity, as well as three palaces, the 12th century Ikalto Academy and old monastery and the Alaverdi Cathedral. Telavi residents are proud of their heritage as well as their 900 year-old sycamore tree! As the centre for winemaking in Georgia, the region has a longstanding reputation for hospitality and guests are made welcome with its famous wines and outstanding feasts that include distinctive sauces and spices and wonderful breads. Nearby Tsinandali estate is the home of the Chavchavadze princes and the oldest winery which still produces rare vintages.