GEORGIA – 8000 VINTAGES…
Georgia is one of the ancient countries of the world with uninterrupted tradition of viticulture and winemaking, which is evidenced by numerous archaeological discoveries, like seeds of cultivated grape variety dating back 7-6 thousand years BC, and 3-4 thousand years old massive clay wine fermenting amphoras – Qvevri. Many etymologists even consider the modern generic word “wine” to be derived from the ancient Georgian word “gvino”.
Georgian culture is filled with legends, ceremonies and traditions that possess the deepest appreciation for centuries for winemaking. Many famous poets, writers and travelers of centuries past describe Georgia in their writings and annals, as a land of ancient vinegrowing and winemaking traditions. Among the first is Apollonius of Rhodes, who lauds Georgia is his Argonautica written around 295 BC.
The excellence and uniqueness of Georgian wines is based on extensive indigenous grape varieties and perfect matching of soil and climate conditions. Centuries of trial have resulted in different wine styles from every region, from light body whites to heavy bodied reds and sweet wines. You can be sure that Georgia produces wines that will suite any palate.
IN 2013 UNESCO ENLISTED QVEVRI WINEMAKING METHOD AS INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE OF HUMANITY.
Since ancient times Georgia has been known as a country of grapes and wine. Traditional Georgian wine is hardly imaginable without a Qvevri. The history of making wine in traditional Qvevri vessels has existed at least 8000 years and is still practiced today. Qvevri wine is unique for its rich chemical composition, its distinctive bouquet and taste and for its nutritional and curative qualities.
The ancient Georgian traditional Qvevri winemaking method is one of country’s cultural achievements and treasures. Wine has a crucial place in social interactions in Georgia, playing a role in the traditional hospitality of the country and facilitating friendship and a good will.
Qvevri is a traditional Georgian vessel used for making, ageing and storing wine. The vessel is buried under the ground, which guarantees an optimal temperature for the ageing and storage of wine and its egg like shape favors the processes inside: the chacha (grape skins, stalks and pips) sink to the bottom; the wine becomes enriched by its volatile and non-volatile elements; later wine is separated the latter and gets stabilized.
TRADITIONAL GEORGIAN WINEMAKING METHOD IS ANCIENT, IT IS LIVING CULTURE!
ANCIENT QVEVRI METHOD
In Georgia there are actually different ways of making wine in qvevri, but the traditional Kakhetian method is the most historical and practical and is unique among the world’s winemaking methods. It all starts with crushing grapes in the wine press without damaging their pips and stalks and pouring the grape must into clean qvevri. Once the grapes have been pressed, all or part of the marc and stalks are added to the grape must in the qvevri. Qvevri is used for fermentation, aging and storing of wine. Kakhetian style Qvevri wine is usually made with 6 months’ maceration.