Report from the Real Wine Fair and RAW Fair | Marani

Leave a comment

Given that Quevri are present in 25 different growing regions of Georgia, we also learnt how these Quevri are used differently in the different regions of Georgia. For example, in the more Westerly region of Imereti, where temperatures tend to be cooler, the grapes are placed in the Quevri with minor skin contact, and no grape stems, leading to brighter, fruitier wines. Because of the cooler temperatures in Imereti, the stems would produce a wine that was simply too tart and “green.” In Kartli, further east, there is fuller skin contact, with the wine being left on the skins for up to 6 months, and some of the grape stems may also be placed in the Quevri, to increase the tannins in the wine (white as well as red). In Kakheti, Georgia’s most Easterly and hottest region, responsible for the vast majority of Georgia’s wine production, whole grape bunches, including stems, are put in the Quevri for up to 6 months.

Not only were we seeing evidence of more emphasis on Georgia’s more traditional styles of wine, there was also an exciting range of grapes on display. Up to this point we have been saying that around 30 of Georgia’s grape varieties are in commercial production, but having visited these two fairs we suspect that this number will need to be revised substantially upwards. In fact, at a recent wine fair in Georgia (which included non commercial as well as commercially produced wines) 150 grape varieties were on display. The days of homogenised wine production in Georgia seem to be far behind us.

New Grapes/Wines

Some of these new grape arrivals fill in gaps in the Georgian wine offering. For example, the red grapes Takveri and Shavkapito produce lighter bodied (though still very tannic) red wines, that provide a nice counterpoint to the heavier wines typically produced by Georgia’s predominant red grape, Saperavi. Shavkapito, incidentally, was the grape of choice for the Kakhetian kings. The two wines we sampled were both from the 2011 vintage, so still very young, and we were told that they would mellow considerably in the next 12 months. One of the apparent side effects of the Quevri production method is to produce a more mature tasting wine more quickly – possibly as a result of micro oxidation in the Quevri. Both wines would continue to mature in the bottle for the next 4-5 years.

The Georgian white grape rkatsiteli is widely regarded as the grape that benefits most from the Quevri production method, and there were numerous examples on display. The 2010 Rkasitelis from both Pheasant’s Tears and the Antadze Winery were extremely good, a deep amber colour, with powerful aromas and huge amounts of flavour (fruit peel, apricots etc) – to the extent that they might be termed “an acquired taste.” The 2008 Rkatsiteli from Pheasant’s Tears showed how the wine would mellow with time, with the fruit becoming less obvious. The 2010 and 2011 Rkatsitelis from the Twin’s Wine Cellar in Napareuli were also very good (the 2010 vintage was winner of the first place in a recent national wine competition in Georgia)

This was also our first taste of a wine produced entirely from the Chinuri grape. Our only previous contact with this light skinned and floral grape was in sparkling wine blends. Due to its temperamental nature, and the fact that it enjoys growing in windy, rocky environments, it was almost abandoned during Soviet times. Iago Bitarishvili has produced two different versions, one with skin contact and one without – we preferred the one without skin contact: soft in the mouth, then more peppery at the end, with honey, peach and walnut flavours. Other Georgian grapes that should soon be available to the UK wine buyer include the white grapes tsitska, kisi, and khikvi.

A particular revelation were the wines from the Alaverdi Monastery, which has been producing wines (including for several royal families, including the Russian Tsars) since 1011. Just stop and think about that for a moment. Over 1000 years of wine production and refinement. Presented by one of the monks (in full monk’s robes, no less), no wonder their whole range of wines was impressive, in particular their Kisi 2011 and Khikhvi 2011. Given the traditions behind the winery and the quality of their wines we will be looking to add these to our wine list shortly.

When we had finished tasting the Georgian wines, we were surprised to see another stand dedicated to Quevri wines. On close inspection is turned out that these wines were not Georgian, but from Italy and Switzerland. Having tasted a cross section of them, in the majority of cases it was difficult to see what the addition of the Quevri was really meant to achieve – often it just produced a slightly confused tasting wine, where the impact of the quevri often seemed to be working against the rest of the wine. For the most part it seemed to be something of a marketing gimmick, which was a little bit worrying. For a country that is so early on in marketing its wine tradition to the world, Georgia will have to be careful that its most treasured techniques don’t become swallowed up in a load of marketing waffle from other countries.

via Report from the Real Wine Fair and RAW Fair | Marani.

Archaeologists in Georgia discover graves from 3rd century BC | Democracy & Freedom Watch

Leave a comment

xperts say, qvevri burials were popular during pagan period in the country, when dead a body was buried in a qvevri, a large pitcher normally half-buried in the ground and used for wine-making.

via Archaeologists in Georgia discover graves from 3rd century BC | Democracy & Freedom Watch.

Biodynamic Wine Making in Ceramic Qvevri | Flow Forms

Leave a comment

Biodynamic Wine Making in Ceramic Qvevri

via Biodynamic Wine Making in Ceramic Qvevri | Flow Forms.

Association Qvevri Wine | www.rawfair.com

Leave a comment

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

Qvevri Report full_ENG.pdf application/pdf Object

Leave a comment

Qvevri Report full_ENG.pdf application/pdf Object.

kvevri — Food Stories

Leave a comment

They get these massive clay pots called qvevri, and they bury them in the ground. Then they whack everything juice, skins, stems in there, seal it up with clay and let it all separate out. The wine is then drawn off the top very carefully using a special jug on a stick. They use a really old grape variety called Rkatsiteli which comes out freakin’ orange! Then there’s another one, which is red and called Saperavi. They’re both native to Georgia. The first time I tasted the orange wine, I was quite taken aback; that stuff is just totally unlike any wine I’ve ever tasted; kinda funky but, you know what? I got into it. By the end of that trip I think we were all a bit Georgian.

via kvevri — Food Stories.

Georgia – where “natural” is a way of life

Leave a comment

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.

Older Entries Newer Entries

%d bloggers like this: