The Princes of Mukhrani

The Princes of Mukhrani (Mukhranbatoni) stem from one of the oldest royal dynasties in the World - the Bagrationi. In 1512 King David of Kartli donated the Mukhrani Estate, dominating the Ksani and Aragvi gorges, to his brother Prince Bagrat. Since then his descendants have left their mark in all sectors of modern contemporary life - political, economic, as well as cultural in the great history of the proud Georgian Nation. Throughout the centuries this fertile land was attractive to many invaders and the Princes of Mukhrani protected it with courage against the various enemies. Sensible and brave warriors - they defended the land brilliantly and courageously. Their knightly nature, diligence and self-sacrifice allowed them to occupy the Royal Throne of the Country as early as the 17th century.

 

 


Prince Ivane Mukhranbatoni

A great political and military figure of the 19th century Ivane Mukhranbatoni was born the 7th February 1812 into the family of the famous General Konstantine Mukhranbatoni. Young Ivane chose a military career and became Major-General in 1850. In 1853 he was a commander of a Grenadier Division. At the age of 42, having received experience in many battles as a Lieutenant-General, he was appointed Military Governor of West Georgia. As head of the Tbilisi Kingdom Ivane Mukhranbatoni fought for years to eradicate illiteracy in Georgia. Well aware of the importance of education he did all he could to establish schools, was a founder of Tbilisi Georgian State University and licensed newspapers.

The Prince’s interest in farming was greatly enhanced on his trip to France in 1875, where he learned more about the fine art of winemaking of the Bordeaux and Champagne regions. On his return home he decided to start producing wonderful Georgian wines on his forefathers’ Mukhrani estate land. Abandoning a brilliant military career he created a superb vineyard and built a 1.200.000 liter capacity Winery, bravely implementing innovation unique throughout the Caucasus. The great reputation of Mukhrani wines made these Georgian vineyards famous. Despite a rather high price, the demand for Mukhrani wines was growing steadily and they were successfully marketed in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Warsaw and the Baltic countries, Paris, Vienna and even in cities as far away as the US. Ivane Mukhranbatoni, at the age of 85, and in spite of his exquisite health, suddenly died at his estate on the 11th March 1895. He was buried in the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral in Mtskheta, the traditional burial place of the Royal House of Bagrationi.

Under the Flag of Success

From the first harvest the wines of Ivane Mukhranbatoni received wide international recognition. Mukhranbatoni was one of the exclusive suppliers of wines to the Russian Imperial Court. Ivane Mukhranbatoni was the first to prove that Georgian wines have their rightful place among the great wines of the World. By blending local and imported grape varietals he produced super class wines whose high qualities met the strictest requirements of experts and the refined taste of true wine lovers. The vineyards covered then some 400 desitina, and each desitina produced 200 buckets of wine. Main buildings of the Mukhrani Estate consisted of a three-story Palace, a Cooperage, a Winery and Cellars. Prince Mukhranbatoni and Company became famous in 1863 when his wines achieved the highest results at the Tbilisi Agricultural Exhibition. The Winery became fully operational in 1876 producing twelve special wines. In 1844 the annual income reached 244.700 Maneti. At its highest peak in 1896 the turnover reached 300.000 Maneti. Commentator on fashion, taste and tradition Mukhrani Wines were awarded prizes at international exhibitions and wine-tasting events competing with the finest wines of the World. At the Moscow Agricultural Exhibition of 1882 Mukhrani Wines were acclaimed and won the main prize, the State Medal for Agricultural Merit. The Mukhranuli Wines won a gold medal at the Odessa Agricultural Exhibition in the same year. It won highest approval at the Yalta Agricultural Exhibition in 1884 where the Mukhrani 5 produced in 1884 were also acclaimed. Mukhrani Sparkling Wine was of such high quality that it was awarded the first prize at the Paris Wine Exhibition in 1889, while it won the State Arms at the Moscow Exhibition of 1892. 1898 was the year of the highest honor, when Mukhrani wine won the highest prize in Paris and Prince Mukhranbatoni, the owner of the vineyards, was named Honored “Officier du Mérite Agricole’’ by the French Government.