Archaeological Treasures

The Caucasus is important for winemaking and Georgia itself is considered to be the homeland of the wine culture. Winemaking is an ancient tradition in the Mukhrani area. Archeological excavations in this region have found traces of the presence of winemaking going back as far as the Stone Age. 

Important remnants of an antique Town, discovered in 1974 at Dzalisa, close to the Mukhranbatoni Château, indicate that these early inhabitants mastered and developed the art of winemaking. They also prove the existence of an important town north of Mtkvari (mentioned by the C2nd B.C. by Greek author Ptolemy). This established settlement, a satellite of the larger Town Mtskheta, played an important part in the development of the Karthli Kingdom. By its historical, artistic and stylistic significance experts believe Dzalisa to be part of the global heritage of mankind, as are Pompeii, Herculaneum and similar sites in Palestine and Syria. 

According to Greek Mythology Dionysus, son of Zeus and the beautiful Semele, was the God of fertility and in particular of the vine and its wine. It is the State Religion during the reign of Hisistratus. 

Apart from the remnants of grandiose Palaces, bath complexes with tiled floors, atrium, huge swimming pools and fountains found in the aristocratic district of Dzalisa, the most impressive discovery is the 2nd C. A.D. Dionysus Mosaic. The Mosaic is composed of splinters from various sorts of stones of 12 colours. There are many ornamental elements and images of vines. Inscriptions are in Greek and the representation of Dionysus has been executed most skillfully. To the right of Dionysus one finds his wife Ariadne, the daughter of legendary Minos and Pasiphaë. At their feet is portrayed a gentle and joyful God Pan. Among the Mosaic images are very impressive muses, beautiful ladies and gods with wings as well as a winged handsome young man with a basket full of fruit. They represent the God of fertility and confirm by their presence the importance of winemaking in the Mukhrani region.