Imereti is a region in Georgia with Kutaisi as the regional capital situated along the middle and upper reaches of the Rioni river. Traditionally, Imereti is an agricultural region, known for its mulberries and grapes. In late antiquity and early Middle Ages the ancient western Georgian kingdom of Egrisi existed on the territory of Imereti. Its king declared Christianity as an official religion of Egrisi in 523 AD. In 975-1466 Imereti was part of the united Georgian Kingdom. Since its disintegration in the 15th century, Imereti was an independent kingdom. In the 17th-18th centuries the kingdom of Imereti suffered frequent invasions by the Turks and paid patronage to the Ottoman Empire until 1810, when it was occupied and annexed by the Russian Empire.
The region of Imereti was originally part of the ancient Colchis kingdom. In ancient geography, Colchis or Kolchis was an ancient Georgian kingdom and region in the Caucasus, which played an important role in the ethnic and cultural formation of the Georgian nation. Now mostly the western part of Georgia, it was in Greek mythology the home of Aeëtes and Medea and the destination of the Argonauts, as well as being the possible homeland of the Amazons. One of the most important elements in the modern Georgian nation, the Colchians were probably established in the Caucasus by the Middle Bronze Age.