Georgia winemakers revive old-school technique
08 September, 2015
Georgia winemakers revive old-school technique
TBILISI, GEORGIA - In the ancient wine country of eastern Georgia, Remi Kbilashvili spends three months painstakingly stacking coils of clay to create a massive red, egg-shape vat, just as his ancestors did thousands of years ago, the Miami Herald informs.

The vessel, known as a qvevri, will hold 500 gallons of wine once it is fired in a wood-burning brick kiln for a week, then coated in beeswax. It will be used to ferment the same grape varietals that made
Georgia a wine juggernaut, chronicled by the ancient Greek poet Homer.

Over the past five years, demand for qvevris has tripled, and Kbilashvili, 61, sometimes struggles to find room in his workshop for new vessels. On a visit this spring, there were 24.

Kbilashvili’s craft is a living totem to Georgia’s 8,000-year-old winemaking heritage; in 2013, UNESCO, the United Nation’s education organization, recognized the qvevri as an element of “intangible cultural heritage of humanity.”

His cramped workshop also is something more — part of a push to undo three-quarters of a century of damage caused by Soviet rule, when communist planners’ zeal for standardization marginalized ancient grape varietals and winemaking techniques.

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.

Old technique

Made of thick clay, a qvevri is sunk into the soil. Once placed it remains there, sometimes for centuries. Winemakers pour grapes into the qvevri, skins and all, in October and let them ferment.

The ground keeps the mash at a near-constant temperature. The sediment sinks to the pointed bottom. The clay imparts none of the oaky flavor of a barrel or the mineral tang of stainless steel.

Alice Feiring, author of Naked Wine, who is working on a book about Georgian wine, said this method requires almost no intervention by Georgian winemakers once the grapes have been poured in.

“The beauty of the qvevri is it allows people to make wine as simply as possible,” she said.

What was an essential vessel of the Georgian winemaking tradition was, to communist state planners, an obstacle. Soviet troops invaded the tiny Caucasus nation in 1921 and nationalized the vineyards, ripping out the hundreds of varietals and replacing them with just a handful of easy-to-bottle reds and whites, the well-known full-bodied red Saperavi, the white Rkatskeli among them.

These grapes were aged in barrels or stainless steel and shipped across the Caucasus to Russian tables — be they those belonging to the proletariat or to the Georgia-born Soviet leader, Josef Stalin. Irakli Cholobargia, marketing director for Georgia’s National Wine Agency, said wine aimed at the Russian market was so sweet it was known as kompot — basically fruit juice, the Miami Herald reports.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/living/food-drink/article30988014.html#storylink=cpy

Related Stories:

Georgian wine listed among 13 best orange wines worldwide


5 Georgian wines to try - The Washington Post
Print
Other Stories
Hotel Porta Caucasia Kazbegi-Discover What Is Yours
Discover what is yours - Travel to Georgia - This is the main call of the year of the Georgian National Tourism Administration, which advises all residents of Georgia to travel, get to know and discover their own country, once again to make sure that Georgia is truly distinguished by its sights, nature, history and with the diversity of touristic destinations.
“Together for Better Environment” - EU and MEPA Mark World Environment Day
On June 5, 2020, the EU marks World Environment Day within the framework of the Green Week information campaign, held in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, the EU Delegation to Georgia states.
"Qvevri" Shaped Hotel Complex in Georgia Soon
Today the Prime Minister of Georgia, Giorgi Gakharia, inspected the construction of the hotel "Qvevri" in Telavi, which is implemented with the support of the state program- Host in Georgia.
Georgians buy abandoned houses amid coronavirus pandemic
Lekso Charkviani is a founder of a social campaign called “The Lost Eden”. The idea behind the campaign is to search, find, and help the owners sell their houses in any place in Georgia.
Breathtaking Pictures of Snowy Spring in Georgia
On March 17 Georgia was surprized with snow and the social media was full of breathtaking photos of snowy Georgia taken by Georgian photographers
The History of Georgian Firearms Development
In the 9th century, a dent was invented in China that was originally used for fireworks during religious ceremonies. Its use in military affairs began relatively late in the 11th century
Estonian Traveler  About Georgia
Anna Linn is a traveler from Estonia who has recently visited Georgia and shared her experiences with us.
How to Make Women Happy on March 8th - The Biltmore Hotel Tbilisi's Best Offer
Women's Day is celebrated around the world but for some reason, it is mostly loved in Georgia
Tbilisi in The List of The Best Cities For Female Solo Travelers
Tourlane, the leading planning and booking service for expert-made dream vacations, has revealed the top cities for female solo travelers
10 Magnificent Churches of Georgia
"John Graham Tours" Publishes the list of 10 magnificent churches of Georgia, specifically of Shida Kartli
Georgia in the list of Hollywood's busiest location sectors
The Hollywood Reporter publishes the list of the busiest location sectors of 2020 and Georgia is number one in the list
Why Georgia is the Most Underrated Skiing Destination
CNN publishes an article writing about why Georgia is the most underrated skiing destination
Tbilisi Takes Third Place in The Category of Cost-Effectivness-FDI
Famous British edition FDI Intelligence which provides up to date reviews of investment and economic development in different European cities and regions has published a ranking of 2020/21
CNN Offers 10 Of The Most Dreamiest Places in Georgia
Without a doubt, CNN's famous travel series will give you the most truthful advice on which you can count on
Radisson Collection Tsinandali Complex Among the 45 Best Hotels
The hotel located in the village Tsinandali was named among the 45 best hotels in Paris
Letter From Thailand To Georgians
“Coming to Georgia wasn’t an accident”
"There was a "ME" before Georgia and another one after."-Foreigners about Georgia
"We've never seen people describing their country with as much passion and excitement as you two are doing it. What a great thing to do!"
British edition about Kvareli's football pitch
The British edition, The Sun Dream Team, published a photo of the pitch located in Kvareli
Tbilisi winning Rynair's Instagram voting as the best 2020 destination
"We just crowned Tbilisi as Ryanair’s 2020 destination face-off winner in our Stories"
The Real History of Tbilisi
Little do people know about the real history of Georgia's capital city Tbilisi.
"Georgians will extend their arm for a friendly handshake"-Ryanair
The Irish budget airline Ryanair publishes an article about the capital city of Georgia, Tbilisi. The title says it all- "The Enchanting City of Tbilisi."
The Transcaucasian Trail in Georgia
The Transcaucasian Trail- a world-class, long-distance hiking trail, more than 3,000km in length following the Greater and Lesser Caucasus Mountains and connecting roughly two dozen national parks and protected areas in the region.
"Home for the homeless"-BBC about Tskaltubo sanatoriums
BBC publishes a documentary about Tskaltubo's sanatoriums located in the West part of Georgia.
Georgia reaches a record number of visitors
In January 2020, a record number of international travelers visited Georgia.
Abastumani resort brought to life
The observatory renovations are completed in Abastumani resort, the Ministry of Regional Development and Infrastructure reports.
PHOTO OF THE DAY
GEL Exchange Rate
Convertor
28.09.2020
29.09.2020
USD
1
USD
3.3332
3.3203
EUR
1
EUR
3.8812
3.8708
GBP
1
GBP
4.2365
4.2819
RUB
100
RUB
4.2875
4.2140