Abandoned ancient wine factory reopens in Tbilisi

The first view of the first wine factory in Tbilisi. Photo by first wine factory Facebook.
Agenda.ge, 20 Jun 2014 - 22:22, Tbilisi,Georgia

Ancient bottles of wine from the private collections of Napoleon Bonaparte and Josef Stalin are being unearthed at one of Georgia’s oldest wine factories.

The historic factory in central Tbilisi lay abandoned for decades but will so reopen to the public tomorrow.

The building, named ‘Tbilisi I Wine Factory’ is a cultural heritage site and is located at the end of Melikishvili Ave on the top of a hill, surrounded by a high fence.

Early years of building factory. Photo by Wine #1 Factory Facebook.

The opening ceremony will offer guests the chance to taste unique Georgian wine and cheese. Traditional wine vessels also will be on show at the open ceremony. The event will begin at 6pm and is open to anyone who wishes to attend.

One of the most interesting features of the historic factory is the fact it houses wine from some of the world’s famous men.

Two floors below ground-level of the factory. Photo by Wine #1 Factory Facebook.

Two floors below ground-level is an enoteca (basement)wine repository, where wine was aged. In this space, 40,000 wine bottles aged for more than two centuries are currently stored.

Included in the collection are drinks from the private collections of Napoleon Bonaparte, Soviet Union Leader Josef Stalin and other famous figures, which is property of the state.

At the opening ceremony, a costume exhibition showcasing Georgian National costumes by Samoseli Pirveli will be held. Guests will also be able to see a documentary photo exhibition of Georgian wine history and the building’s history.

The factory was built in the late 19th CenturyPhoto by Wine #1 Factory Facebook.

The factory was built in the late 19th Century during a project by Alexander Ozerov and financed by David Sarajishvili. The winery began functioning in 1896 but was stopped. The existing building was granted the status of a cultural heritage monument.

The building’s facade is an example of eclectic architecture. Its plan comprises the form of two three-nave basilica that is characteristic for Georgian Ecclesiastical construction traditions.