Above the Gombori ridge, a historic palace is surrounded by vineyards on the edge of the village of Vazisubani in Kakheti. In the early 19th century, the Vazisubani estate was developed by a young aristocrat called Sulkhan Chavchavadze. Throughout the centuries, the Vazisubani people and the grapevines protected each other. Chavchavadze helped establish several schools in Kakheti, as well as laying out railway lines and a number of national charities. Chavchavadze was also passionate about wine and wine-making. He extended the estate so that he had approximately 20 hectares of vineyards and thirty large qvevri to ferment his grapes.
The estate passed through a number of generations up to the early twentieth century. Then, as a result of large family debt, it was taken over by the state. For the next ninety years, the Vazisubani estate fell into oblivion, until 2011 when the magic began to return. The current owners set about restoring the palace and vineyards to their original state. Crucially, the wonderful qvevris were still intact and so the team began to make their own traditional Georgian wine. 130 years after these wines were last made, qvevri wines such as Saperavi, Kakhuri Mtsvane, and Khikhvi were once again fermenting in the qvevri of Sulkhan Chavchavadze’s wine cellar.