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Tsinandali Festival, Georgia

Wine, architecture and the sound of music all inform the unique experience that is the Tsinandali Estate. 

The Tsinandali Estate, once the home of Georgian nobility

Deep in the Georgian countryside, in the beautiful region of Kakheti, lies the Tsinandali Estate; home to some of Georgia’s finest vineyards, stunning architecture, and the country’s first international classical music festival.  

Well known for its historical and cultural elegance, the Tsinandali Estate is one of the most important centres of cultural life in Georgia and extends back more than 200 years to the princely family of Chavchavadze. In the time of poet and military figure Alexander Chavchavadze (1786-1846), the estate was a common destination for musicians, writers, poets, and other prominent people visiting Georgia, as well as for local public figures.  

The Tsinandali Estate has been under the patronage and care of the Silk Road Group since 2007, which has invested in the rehabilitation and development of this historic site, enabling it to continue telling its story to many generations of visitors yet to come. 


The estate's distinguished vineyards

It was on the Tsinandali Estate, roughly 230 years ago, that the first wine in Georgia was made and bottled, establishing it as a fundamental hub for wine in the country. The estate still practices the 8,000-year-old tradition of Georgian winemaking while, at the same time, creating the standards of the modern technological approach. Today, people come from far and wide to tour the beautiful vineyards, which have undergone major renovations in recent years, ensuring the standards of winemaking remains true to the estate’s legacy.  

Among the Tsinandali Estate’s distinguished wines, one can find full-bodied Saperavi intended for extensive ageing, bold Frisky Rose (the first European-style white of Georgia), Tsinandali wine, and traditional Kakhetian Qvevri Rkatsiteli 

Classical music  

Avi Shoshani (c) Eyal Izhar

This year sees the introduction of Georgia’s first international classical music festival, the Tsinandali Festival. 

In a bid to increase tourism, to highlight the sincerity of the area, and to celebrate the wealth of artistic talent from Georgia and the Caucasus region, Avi Shoshani and Martin Engstroem (co-founders of the famous Verbier Festival), George Ramishvili (founder of Georgian conglomerate Silk Road Group), and David Sakvarelidze (a former Georgian politician) established the annual classical music festival, the Tsinandali Festival, which will run for the first time in September 2019. 

The festival, a Georgian non-profit foundation, in collaboration with the Georgian government and generous private donors, will present some of the greatest musicians and the specially formed Pan-Caucasian Youth Orchestra, which unites more than 80 young musicians from the surrounding region giving them the extraordinary opportunity to train and perform with world-class conductors, coaches and musicians, including the festival’s music director Gianandrea Noseda. 

Over 15 days of 30 world-class concerts between 8th September and 22nd September, a host of international musicians will perform together in differing combinations as well as give masterclasses. Soloists lined up for the 2019 festival include: violinists Lisa Batiashvili, Renaud Capuçon and Pinchas Zukerman (who also conducts); pianists Nicholas Angelich, Sergei Babayan, Itamar Golan; Nino Gvetadze, Denis Kozhukhin, George Li, Jan Lisiecki, Fazil Say, András Schiff (who also conducts) and Yuja Wang; cellists Gautier Capuçon and Mischa Maisky; clarinetist Martin Fröst; baritone Thomas Hampson; Avi Avital on the mandolin and the conductors Gábor Takács-Nagy, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Omer Meir Wellber and Lahav Shani. 


Tsinandali amphitheatre designed by Ingo Maurer and Xavier Fabre

The Tsinandali Estate is home to some truly stunning architecture, namely the famous manor house of Alexander Chavchavadze, which showcases a unique mix of Georgian and European styles from the early 19th century. Steeped in history, the house once hosted discussions of new literary, artistic and musical trends, as well as political and economic issues. This house which has been beautifully restored as part of the Silk Road Group’s long-term development plan for the estate is now a museum, and Georgia’s most-visited attraction, with 120,000 visitors each year.  

Two new venues have been built on the estate to house the music festival performances: an open amphitheatre with a retractable roof seating 1,200 people and the Chamber Concert Hall, which seats 600 people. The halls have been designed by an international group of designers, including Ingo Maurer and architect Xavier Fabre, who has previously worked on acoustics of the Philharmonie de Paris and the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg. The frescoes adorning the site belong to Georgian artist Tamara Kvesitadze 

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