A Comparison of In-Amphorae ( Qvevri ) Winemaking to Barrels/Barriques in Chardonnay Wine

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Selected Results

Chemical analysis of the Chardonnay grapes at harvest resulted in the following values: 21.9oBrix sugar content, 7.60g/L titratable acidity, 2.25g/L malic acid, and 3.17 pH.
Only the dry extract and volatile acidity were statistically significantly different between the different wines (though there were some value differences that didn’t quite make it to statistical significance).
The researchers confirmed the higher dry extract in amphorae wines was due to the pomace cap maceration process.
The amphorae wines showed higher volatile acidity, straw color, and perception of tannin compared to the barrel and barrique wines.
Barrel and barrique wines showed higher vanilla flavor than amphorae wines.
Amphorae wines showed lower titratable acidity than the barrel or barrique wines (not statistically significant).
Volatile acidity was higher in barrique wines than barrel wines.
Malolactic fermentation was complete much faster in amphorae wines than barrel or barrique wines.
This again, according to the researchers, might be explained by the pomace cap, since there might have been wild lactic acid bacteria present, thus helping the process along faster than without the extra bacteria.
Lactic acid levels were more or less similar between the three wines at the end of the winemaking process.
Sensory analysis revealed:
Amphorae wines had a “mature scent”, fewer green characteristics, and fewer Chardonnay varietal characteristics. Tannins were “elegant” and the wine had a “pleasing taste” (higher than the barrel or barrique wines). A spicy scent was noted, as well as a lack of vanilla character.
Barrique wines had a lot of vanilla tones, and exhibited strong Chardonnay varietal characteristics. Characteristics noted were “fresh, harmony, and a remarkable woody flavor”. The panelists made a note to possibly blend this wine with the other wines to take the woody/oak characteristics down a notch.
Barrel wines possessed the most Chardonnay varietal characteristics, and were considered to be the most balanced with spice, light oak, and vanilla character in addition to the fruit character. Panelists noted it was “full, balanced, fruity” and had a “persistent flavor”.

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Concrete helps to understand terroirs

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One of his first steps was to replace stainless steel and wood fermentors with large, tulip-shaped concrete vats for all three wines, which are fermented with wild yeasts.

“With two years of aging in barrel,” says Ruini, “I don’t want to add more wood. Concrete is neutral. Steel has a reducing effect on wine—it’s not the best.”

USA orange wine

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Besides Italy and Georgia, Slovenia and Croatia also make orange wines, and over the last five years, adventurous winemakers in the United States have gotten in on the action. “People making orange wines, by their nature, are more experimental,” says William Allen, winemaker and owner of Sonoma County’s Two Shepherds winery. Allen himself made orange wine from a blend of Roussanne and Marsanne grapes in 2011. He even makes an orange-style wine from a grey grape called Trousseau Gris—it looks like a rosé but tastes like an orange wine.

http://news.hvino.com/2014/10/a-guide-to-orange-wine.html#more

Kvevri how to deal with

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Check this article by Giorgi Barisashvili, an absolute minefield of useful info about the qvevri

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Association Qvevri Wine | www.rawfair.com

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Association Qvevri Wine | www.rawfair.com.

Manifesto

We, the members of “Association Qvevri Wine”, voluntarily unite in a group and adopt the code of conduct, because:

We respect, cherish and preserve for the coming generation tradition of qvevri wine production, which resisted millennia and recognize that it is one of the important agricultural achievements of mankind’s.
We believe that creative strength is embedded in the traditions of qvevri wine production, which will help to overcome the crisis in the field of viticulture and winemaking.
We believe that traditional qvevri wine production and ecology are very close concept, moreover one cannot exist without the other; therefore we agree: to inflict as minimal harm as possible to our vineyards and as well as its surroundings; seek for biodiversity of vineyards; not to use intense systemic treatments, herbicides and synthetic fertilizers; to possibly reduce cultivation using heavy machinery and not to use grape picking machines during vintage.
We believe that wine, fermented and matured in qvevri, should bear the signs of its grape variety, as well as territorial origin. Therefore, we agree to minimally intervene in the process of wine fermentation/maceration. This means not using the substances and methods which change the nature of the wine, e.g.: selected yeasts, acids, enzymes, tannins, extracts, fining agents, reverse osmosis, chaptaliazation, thermal processing, using of sulfur anhydride in the process of wine fermentation/maceration (sulfur anhydride can be used in small doses only during wine aging or prior to bottling) and fine filters at all stages of winemaking (light filtration is allowed only prior to bottling).

Our goal is to pass healthy, vital and fertile vineyards to the future generation, and to give the opportunity to our contemporaries besides enjoying the taste and the flavor of wine, to get the vital energy, which only nature can give.

Check out our website here: https://www.facebook.com/qvevri.wine
Useful links
Explore Qvevri artisans
All wine producer associations

Gorgeous Georgian: Now we can enjoy the cuisine of Russia’s fiery neighbour nearer home – Features – Food & Drink – The Independent

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Like this wonderfully hospitable country, which has an alphabet no one else reads, a language no one else speaks and a currency used by no other nation, Georgian wines are as unique as the dishes they accompany. Nearly every rural home has a qvevri, or clay pot, buried in the ground, in which they make their own wine, allowing the grapes to macerate for a while with skins, stems and pips to produce a richer-tasting wine than the relatively low alcohol content would suggest. Reds are mainly powerful products of the saperavi grape, while whites, often blended, range from pale, crisp and appley to amber with notes of bone-dry sherry

via Gorgeous Georgian: Now we can enjoy the cuisine of Russia's fiery neighbour nearer home – Features – Food & Drink – The Independent.

Georgia – where “natural” is a way of life

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Georgia – where “natural” is a way of life13 April, 2012 EricaA country bursting with tradition. One foot in another time and the other firmly in the present – it was hardly worth raising an eyebrow when a spanking new Mercedes passed a donkey-drawn cart on the way to the same farmers market. Bordering on Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey, this small country is rebuilding itself after years under Soviet rule.

via – Two Sisters: Wine Tripping.

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