Nikolashvili BioProduct


Go to content

About qvevri

Qvevri

Bio or organic wine is almost the same as traditional Georgian wine made in qvevri, for the wine made in qvevri does not need neither preparations and admixtures allowed in bio-industry nor any other admixtures and their use is an extra cost. Traditional Georgian wine can not be made without qvevri! Qvevri is a phenomenal vessel the origin of which dates back to the ancient Georgian history. Qvevri making and generally the qvevri is an integral part of traditional Georgian wine making. In past, qvevri was used for storage of grains, boiled butter, cheese, eau-de-vie de marc or other kinds of vodka, marinades, etc. Though its origination is related to the development of wine making and is specifically designated for wine. Hence, its creation is connected to the development of wine making in Georgia as well. Obviously, large ceramic vessels had been made not only in Georgia but in other countries too for the use in various purposes. However, we may assuredly say that qvevri making as a vessel making branch used in wine making was best developed in Georgia. This is evidenced by many historic sources and rich archelological materials. Since the creation, qvevri experienced some changes, though generally, it remaned almost the same. It should be noted that methods of wine making in qvevri has not been changed either. The latter has such an unique content that it can not be subjected to development. However, very few qvevri makers remained in Geirgia. This is boosted by the fact, that qvevri making and especially large qvevri making requires great knowledge, experience and is costy. Therefore, the followers of this branch become fewer and fewer. Though, qvevri making was one of the leading branch out of five main branches of pottery.

Qvevri making is very difficult and this is approved by the fact that e.i. a brick maker could easily make tiles as well and vice versa; vessel maker could easily make a clay oven for baking bread, only qvevri maker needed deep knowledge. Therefore, qvevry making was always a separate subject in Georgian pottery.
Wine made in accordance to certain rules is typical, naturally stable, has great potencial of aging, natural brilliance and transparancy, exclusive taste and aroma, high concentration of tanins, alchohol and extracts and other positive properties. Natural balance of temperature maintained in qvevri excludes the needs of using mas produced yeasts. It is pressumed that the use of dry yeasts applied by majority of large and small wine enterprieses decreases aging potencial of wines. in case of Kakhetian wine, it is often left on hucks of grapes untill early spring. Naturally, there comes a question to our minds - how it is that deposit, stems and pits do not affect the wine.

This is due to unique and exquisite shape of qvevri. As you know, qvevri has a sharpened coned bottom. In the very early stage of alchoholic fermentation pits are separated from grapes, go down and accumulate on the botton of qvevri. Due to pressure effect, grape pits are covered by deposit that lays quite heavily upon them. Thus, pits and wines are isolated. When the fermentation is finished, hucks of grapes that had not gone down to the bottom due to carbonic acid gas formed in alchoholic fermentation process, begin going down. This is preceded by depsit's going down. Therefore, wine is in connection only with hucks of grapes and takes healthy substences from them as much as possible. It is considered that there are more healthy substences in Kakhetian white wine than in European type wines. The fact that wine made in qvevri is naturally stable and does not need admixture of various chemical substences for its stabilization is explained by its richness of tanins. Tanin restricts protains in wine and prevents turbidding.

Therefore, Kakhetian wine is not inclined to such type of turbid. This is explanation to the natural stability and brilliance of Kakhetian wine. In this type of wines, when fermentation porcess is over, the temperature is being reduced gradually that has positive impact on wine refining process and extracting cream of tartar. In qvevri, wine may be stored for quite a long time provided that there are met all conditions of wine storage, winery arranegement and qvevri hygiene. In past, wine was stored in qvevri even for thousands of years. Obviously, it is allowed to control quality and condition of wine and involve in the process in some periodicity.

Giorgi Barisashvili
Mtskheta, 2009.



Back to content | Back to main menu