Virginia Wine TV: Winemaker Series: Castle Hill Cider & Kvevri

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While sipping a glass of Levity, their flagship sparkling Virginia cider made from 100% Albemarle Pippin; we learned how the operation started and about their use of ancient Kvevri terracotta vessels

via Virginia Wine TV: Winemaker Series: Castle Hill Cider & Kvevri.

Darrell Corti’s First Qvevri Wine Symposium speech | Marani

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Darrell Corti’s First Qvevri Wine Symposium speech

via Darrell Corti's First Qvevri Wine Symposium speech | Marani.

BBC News – My Business: From old cellar to successful winery

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For the Gamtskitsulashvili twins, the clay vessels are a source of income but also of great pride. They are everywhere: even some of the hotel rooms are decorated with examples of the vessels, split in two to reveal the unique way they make their wine.

According to Gela, making wine in the big clay kvevris infuses it with a special aroma and rich taste. “This way we have learnt from our ancestors and it differs from the European way,” says Gela.

via BBC News – My Business: From old cellar to successful winery.

Georgian Wine Reborn – Foodepedia

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arming a small concentrated plot of land in the small village of Tsaraphi, like so many of the other boutique winemakers, the team plant strictly indigenous grapes and are constantly striving to improve their technique. Currently ‘Our Wine’ produces two styles of white including an incredible interpretation of the Rkatsiteli grape, the most important white grape variety in Georgia. They also make one red from the Saperavi grape, arguably the most famous Georgian varietal. “Each year is completely different”, says Soliko, “we are constantly learning, altering and hopefully improving our wines. This year growing conditions were excellent and I think we have produced the best wines so far, especially the orange wine, but we can still improve.”

via Georgian Wine Reborn – Foodepedia.

Qvevri | Qin Xie

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it’s impossible to deny the vibrancy of the fruit and natural sweetness of the wine. And there’s really few phrases which would describe that feeling well, except perhaps “the overwhelming sense of being alive”.Is it just because it’s a natural wine? Having tasted a sizeable selection of other natural wines and non-qvevri Georgian wines, I’m not so sure. There was definitely something about the qvevri which gave the wine its special characteristic, unrepresented anywhere else. Perhaps that’s why qvevri wine production has gained increasing popularity outside of Georgia with Josko Gravner in Italy being one of the most well known amongst the international wine crowd. Sadly, production and export is so limited that it’s extremely rare to find qvevri wines for sale.

via Qvevri | Qin Xie.

Tony Aspler’s notes from the International Qvevri Wine Symposium.

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In the evening, to the courtyard of the Georgian National Museum for the opening ceremonies of the symposium. We’re greeted by a group of singers performing traditional polyphonic music – a kind of local barbershop quartet times two. The symposium is underwritten by the United States. The US ambassador to Georgia John Ball says, in his opening remarks, “Nothing important in Georgia happens without wine.

via Tony Aspler: The Wine Guy.

Rick Steves: Drinking Georgian Wine In A Soviet Bomb Shelter

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After many more tastings that week, I, too, grew to respect traditional-style Georgian wine. When made to a high standard, they’re rich, warming, light on the tongue, and have a light sourness that you begin to crave once your palate grows accustomed to it. For those beer nuts out there, Georgian wine is to “modern” wine what Belgian Lambic is to lager.

via Rick Steves: Drinking Georgian Wine In A Soviet Bomb Shelter.


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KAKHETI TRADITIONAL WINESThe traditional winemaking in Kakheti is very old and unique. It has been inspiring many wine countries Spain = tinajas, Italy = amfora, Slovenia, Croatia and even Austria, thanks to Bernard Ott but none of those can claim the same authentic and historical roots. The use of K’VEVRI also called churi in Imereti to produce wine is maybe one of the most archaic vinification techniques.


Winemakers Go Wild for Qvevri – The Daily Beast

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One of the new Italian converts to qvevri is Elisabetta Foradori. Pouring her rare white, floral wine made from the Nosiola grape, she explains why she loves the qvevri. “My wines find their identity in them so much sooner.” All her production is now in qvevri, even though—don’t tell the Georgians—she too calls them amphorae.Others have added their own twist to the traditional style. Austrian Bernhard Ott makes a Grüner Veltliner labeled, simply, Qvevri. He picks his chemical-free grapes by hand. He crushes them without machinery. He pours the wine, complete with skins, seeds, and stems, into the qvevri, mimicking the way the Georgians vinify their reds. But instead of marinating his wine for a few weeks, he allows the juice to commingle with its parts for months, resulting in a slight orange color and some gritty tannin. After the wine is finished fermenting, he seals the qvevri hermetically with clay and dirt. He then forgets about the wine. Eight months later, he pries the lid open to find the crud sunk to the bottom. This is extreme hands-off winemaking. “The most pure, clear wine is left when the qvevri is opened up,” he says. David Schildnecht, who covers Austria for The Wine Advocate, calls Ott’s Qvevri “revelational.”A qvevri curiosity has now touched down in the New World—not in Napa, where you might expect, but in Virginia. And not for wine, but for cider. Here, too, all roads lead back to Gravner. When John Rhett, general manager of Castle Hill Cider, and cider maker Stuart Madany both former architects tasted Gravner’s wine, they not only loved the flavor but were also attracted to the qvevri’s egg shape. “Whenever nature wants to preserve life energy, it uses the same form, and that is the egg,” Madney says. The two men persuaded Castle Hill’s owners to shell out a hefty sum to import the vessels. This year they planted eight qvevri on Castle Hill’s grounds. Perhaps the world’s first qvevri cider, called Levity, is now available. Whether it’s the egg shape or beginner’s luck, their brew has more complexity, with a deeper flavor and more nuance, than conventional cider offerings.

via Winemakers Go Wild for Qvevri – The Daily Beast.

Arblaster and Clarke Wine Tours

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So I survived my first encounter with traditional Georgian wines. Further tastings showed that wines made by traditional ‘Kakhetian technology’ are indeed extremely interesting. I am less convinced that delicate white varieties that are prone to oxidation are suitable for Qvevri wine making. I did not particularly like either of the two traditional Rkatsiteli-based Qvevri wines that I tried in the region.

via Arblaster and Clarke Wine Tours.

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