About Attraction

Vartsikhe Marani

The story of Vartsikhe Marani traces back to the early 1900s when the Ananov brothers, a family of entrepreneurs from Kutaisi, acquired the Ajameti oak forest and arable land in the village of Vartsikhe, situated 16 km away from Kutaisi. Prior to their ownership, this area was considered part of a princely estate. The Ananovs established a winery in the village and began bottling local brandy, a tradition that continues to this day.

Following the passing of Ivane Ananov in 1888, his grandsons Abgar and Mikhran carried on the family legacy by managing the Vartsikhe estates, the Ajameti forests, and overseeing wine production. As the vineyard expanded, they saw the need for a dedicated winery. Mikhran, inspired by a visit to a champagne factory owned by Prince Oldenburgsky in Kutaisi, commissioned specialists to design a state-of-the-art facility in Vartsikhe. He imported Charant equipment for cognac distillation from France, which was installed near Vartsikhe at his estate, Apkhanauri. French professionals operated the equipment, and from 1905 onwards, the technological processes were overseen by Giorgi Kepuladze, a renowned specialist who dedicated his entire career to the Vartsikhe factory.

In 1907, the Vartsikhe winery commenced operations, producing its inaugural wine brands—Georgian Tsolikauri and the renowned Georgian cognac, Vartsikhe, crafted from spirits distilled on-site. In addition to local varieties, the Ananovs introduced champagne grapes imported from France, including Pinot, Aligote, Semillon, and Cognac Fonblan.

Following Georgia's transition to a Soviet Republic, the Ananovs emigrated to Austria, and their palace was repurposed into a kindergarten, now operating as a hotel. The Vartsikhe factory, along with one of the larger estates, became part of the People's Estate's Trust, known as "Samtrest."

Today, the vineyards of Vartsikhe Marani span two distinct regions of Georgia. In the western Imereti region, the combination of air from the Black Sea to the west and the Caucasus Mountains to the north creates a humid subtropical climate ideal for cultivating indigenous grape varieties unique to the area. Some of the varieties used for industrial production in this region include Otskhanuri Sapere, Aladasturi, Tsolikauri, Krakhuna, Aleksandrouli, and Tsitska.

In the eastern Kakheti Region they use: Rkatsiteli, Khikhvi, Saperavi, Qisi.

To book private tour, please, follow the link on the itinerary below or contact us here.