Yerkin Tatishev’s Efforts Breathe New Life into the Historic Tsinandali Estate

The Tsinandali estate and vineyard has been elegantly restored, affirming its historical and cultural influence in the Caucasus region of Georgia.

From the beginning, the Tsinandali estate of Prince Alexander Chavchavadze served as a center of Georgian intellectual and cultural life. Chavchavadze was a poet and nobleman of the early 19th century whose influence led him to be crowned the father of Georgian romanticism. His cultural contribution to the history of Georgia continues to be celebrated on his restored estate today.

The Tsinandali Estate: Chavchavadze’s European Vision

Chavchavadze designed the picturesque Tsinandali estate to reflect his passions and pursuits: European culture, wine, music and the arts. The estate once hosted influential artists, politicians, literary masters and musicians from all over Europe including French writer Alexander Dumas and Russian poet Alexander Pushkin. The first ever grand piano in Georgia was played in the palace and can be seen on display in Tsinandali today.

As a wine enthusiast, Chavchavadze ushered in a modern technological approach to winemaking, bottling the first European style wine in Georgia on the estate. Located in the heart of Kakheti, the country’s most popular wine region, the restored historical vineyard continues to operate today.

Chavchavadze’s love for European architecture is on display throughout the buildings and the grounds of the estate. The breathtaking gardens of the estate are modeled on the decorative gardens of England and include a unique layout, various trees and exotic plants. To carry out his vision, Chavchavadze brought in architects from Europe to plan and design the estate and garden. He even commissioned the installation of an underground irrigation system to produce a lush, green garden.

The Restoration of the Tsinandali Estate

Unfortunately, the once lustrous estate fell into a state of disrepair and neglect, aggravated by the era of the communist rule in the country. The Tsinandali estate would not be the beacon of cultural history it is today if not for the generous dedication of the donors who contributed to its restoration.

Over the last decade, Yerkin Tatishev, the CEO of multi-national company Kusto Group, and his friend George Ramishvili, chairman of the Silk Road Group, have committed more than $12 million to the restoration and development of the Tsinandali estate. Through their efforts, hundreds of exhibits have been restored or purchased. The estate now boasts an operating winery, a rehabilitated palace, beautifully revived European gardens, a concert amphitheater, and a world-class luxury Radisson hotel.

According to Tatishev, “It simply seemed wrong that such a cultural jewel would remain in such a condition.” For him, “Being part of efforts to breathe new life into a cultural institution, restoring an estate that brings great national pride to the nation of Georgia, is truly a privilege.” It is with this enthusiasm that Tatishev has helped to organize one of the most anticipated endeavors of the restoration, the inaugural Tsinandali International Festival of Classical Music that is scheduled to take place later this year.

The festival will showcase young musicians from across the region on a global stage. The artists will have the privilege of performing under the direction of Gianandrea Noseda, one of the world’s most sought-after conductors. The festival aims to promote young talents while using music to build a cultural bridge between the past and the present.

Tsinandali: A Historical and Cultural Experience

The Tsinandali estate and its renewal has proven to be a captivating passion project for Yerkin Tatishev who said, ” … kickstarting wine production, with the estate’s history of essentially starting the manufacture of Georgia wine, has been a fascinating experience. To be a part of efforts to restart a key aspect of the country’s cultural heritage is why I got involved in the Tsinandali project in the first place.”

The fate of the Chavchavadze family and their ancestral estate holds a special position in Caucasian history. Even though Alexander Chavchavadze was born over 230 years ago, his legacy as an artist and winemaker lives on in the spirit of the estate today. The revival of the Tsinandali estate and the festival breathes new life into a cultural jewel and celebrates the heritage of Georgia.

Visitors to the Tsinandali estate are welcome to stroll through the stunning gardens, explore the history of the Chavchavadze family and estate in the museum and indulge in a few glasses of the highly regarded delicious Georgian wines. The beautifully restored historic Tsinandali estate does not disappoint.

Melissa Thompson writes about a wide range of topics, revealing interesting things we didn’t know before. She is a freelance USA Today producer, and a Technorati contributor.