— History of The Estate and Chavchavadze Family —
Tsinandali Estate located in the heartland of wine producing region of Kakheti was among domains of Chavchavadze princely family for centuries, but true revival of the Estate is linked with the name of Prince Alexander Chavchavadze (1786-1846) son of diplomat and statesman Prince Garsevan, he turned this picturesque Estate into the center of cultural life of Georgia.
Princely family famous for fostering European culture was first to produce European style wine and first to encourage European classical music; First ever grand piano in Georgia is still on display in Tsinandali.
Estate was frequented by men of arts and sciences, visited among others by Alexander Dumas Sr. and Alexander Pushkin, as well as virtually every Georgian poet of the period.
Prince Alexander, poet, wine enthusiast and occasional rebel was active in all social developments of the epoch. His involvement in anti-Russian rebellions was treated with far more mercy as a result of him being godson of Empress Catherine the II, which made him engage in one rebellion after the other. Father figure of Georgian Romanticism and founder of modern Georgian winemaking he was a member of Légion d'honneur and received numerous other honors and decorations for his civil and military career.
Prince Alexander was happily married to Princess Salomea (nee Orbeliani), great-granddaughter of King Heraclius II. Three daughters of Prince Alexander and Princess Salomea, where famous in their own right: Nina whose tragic marriage to Alexander Griboyedov was lamented by many poets, Ekaterine who became last queen of Megrelia and Sophia, Baroness Nicolay, three charming Princesses of Tsinandali, all had notable biographies interweaved with the history of 19th century Georgia and Europe.
Princely coat of arms serving as a symbol of Estate’s bond with the past, still decorates wine of its noble produce. The “chair” signifies family’s affinity with the throne, the unicorn - the noble blood of the family, the anchor – solidity and the sword it’s alacrity to fight.
Dedicated to Tsinandali’s ongoing fame and prosperity director of the House-Museum is Prince Alexander’s descendant Mrs. Maya Kokochashvili.
- Tsinandali Estate on Smithsonian
- Tsinandali Where Wine and Muses Live Together
- Lang, DM (1962), A Modern History of Georgia, London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, p. 38
- Cornell, SE (2001) Small Nations and Great Powers: A Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict in the Caucasus, Routledge (UK), ISBN 0-7007-1162-7, p. 145
- Suny, RG (1994), The Making of the Georgian Nation: 2nd edition, Indiana University Press, ISBN 0-253-20915-3, p. 59
- Rayfield, D (2000), The Literature of Georgia: A History, Routledge (UK),ISBN 0-7007-1163-5, p. 148