This 19th century Château looks like a little bit of Versailles has been teleported to breezy Kartli. Created in the 1870s by Prince Ivane Mukhranbationi, Mukhrani was a pioneering producer of fine Georgian wine with an international market and reputation. The estate fell on hard times in the early 20th century, with vineyards neglected and the château derelict. Since 2002, a staggeringly ambitious project has been restoring the vineyards, gardens and chateau. Hugely respected winemaker, Patrick Honnef, has led the conversion of their 40 hectares to organic production and is making characterful wines that combine the vitality of native Georgian grapes with contemporary polish. Honnef is captivated by the potential and resurgence of contemporary Georgian wine and has championed the planting of the Kartlian red grape, Shavkapito. This alluring, aromatic, sleek red is a star of Mukhrani’s range. Its quality, structure and character has inspired others to replant with Shavkapito. The variety has even been noted by specialists in Australia. Honnef has reduced the use of selected aromatic yeast in favour of indigenous or neutral strains. He has also introduced a “Marani” (qvevri cellar) to the state of the art modern winery. The first vintage of the new Amber wine vindicates his decision and showcases the trademark elegance of this estate.