8000 year old Tradition of Georgian Wine Making Attracts Foreigners

Georgia’s ancient and unique technique of wine-making called Qvevri grabs attention of the international media.

The US based newspaper Miami Herald published an article about the revived traditions of Qevri, an egg shaped vessel used for wine making in Georgia.

A Qvevri is a large clay amphora-like vessel, that is traditionally buried in the ground up to its neck, and in which wine is fermented and stored. During the fermentation process, which occurs naturally without the addition of nutrients, the Qvevri is sealed with a ceramic lid and then buried in soil. The wine is left to mature for up to six months before the Qvevri is opened and the unfiltered but clear wine is ready to be bottled.

Although Qvevri’s are well used around the country, the method is mostly appreciated in the eastern region of Kakheti.

Georgia’s National Wine Agency’s marketing director Irakli Cholobargia told to the journalist, Danielle Cheslow that “Qvevri wine makes up 1 percent of Georgian wine exports. Despite their small place in the Georgian market Qvevri's have moved from the margins to the centre of Georgia’s resurgent wine industry.”

“Over the last 10 years, the fruit of this effort has transformed the Georgian wine sector. The Qvevri is a symbol of that renaissance — and of the wine industry’s resilience,” Cheslow said.
The author of the article highlighted that this old school of Georgian wine making is been adopted by foreigners now. Winemakers from Italy, Slovenia, Austria, Israel and the United States are buying Qvevri’s.

Therefore, because of its uniqueness the Qvevri was approved by UNESCO in 2013 for inclusion in its list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Meanwhile, the World Bank has spent 2.3 million Gel ($1, 017,700) to enhance Georgia’s ancient Qvevri wine-making methods by establishing a Qvevri Workshop in the eastern part of the country.

14 August 2015 15:46