The valleys of the Caucasus Mountains are home to the first known traces of winemaking – in 6,000 BC – making Georgia a mecca for oenophiles, and the royal palace of Château Mukhrani in particular, seat of the modern faction of the Bagrationi dynasty. A nineteenth century castle with French-style grounds designed by a gardener specially brought over from the Palace of Versailles, its restored warren of cellars houses some 60,000 bottles of wine; in amongst these, surrounded by bare bricks is the Samepo Marani 1878 restaurant, named in honour of the estate’s first bottled vintage and serving a fusion of traditional Georgian and European cuisine. The old stables’ British, Georgian and Arabian horses provide a gorgeous means of exploring the estate, with cycling, picnicking and an array of cookery classes also on offer – all just 25 minutes from the capital, Tbilisi, where Mukhrani’s Wine Studio offers urban tastings alongside traditional snacks.
Chateau Mukhrani Saperavi
Natakhtari-Tsilkani-Mukhrani, Mukhrani, 3309