Alaverdi Monastery

Alaverdi Monastery  (first half of the 11th century) is located 18 km from the town of Telavi in the Alazani-River valley. Earliest structures of Alaverdi Monastery date back to the 6th century. The Monastery was founded by the monk Joseph Alaverdeli, who came from Antioch and settled in Alaverdi, then a small village and the former pagan religious center dedicated to Moon. At the beginning of the 11th century, Kakhetian King Kvirike the Great built a cathedral in the place of a small church of St. George. Alaverdi is the highest cathedral in Georgia (up to 50 meters). An impressive space of the interior of this church has no analogy in Georgia.

Situated in the heart of the world’s oldest wine region, the monastery monks have been making their own qvevri wine since 1011. Outside of the monastery wine cellars with qvevris dating from the 8th to the 10th centuries have been discovered. Since 2006, Alaverdi Monastery has been making wine in the new cellar. Six different wines are made at Alaverdi – Rkatsiteli, Khikhvi, Kisi, Mtsvane Khakhui, Rose Rkatsiteli, and Saperavi. Of the 550 grape varieties of Georgia, Alaverdi monks have planted 102 in a little vineyard ‘museum’ in front of the cathedral.

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