QVEVRI ; the universal 3-IN-1 winemaking vat for artisans:
fermetation / maceration
aging / elevage
Kvevri, a terracotta vessel is used not only for
storing wine at a perfect temperature,
but also during the fermentation process.
This technology has a millennia-
old tradition and is still practiced
to date. In fact, Kvevries are now being
used to produce wine outside of
. The main advantage to making wine in the kvevri buried in an underground marani (wine-cellar) is that temperature of storing wine is almost unchanged from winter to summer. Kvevri is not just for storing wine, but is also a part of the technological process.The fact that wine doesn’t get excessively influenced by seeds, skeens and stems (chacha in Georgian) while stored is due to the inverse conical or spherical (egg shaped) shape of qvevri.
The seeds sink first, and are then covered by chacha (until it also sinks after fermentation is complete). As a result, we get wine with character and high storage potential, rich in tannins. White wines made in such a way have a flame color and are slightly touched with the flavor of almond, walnut and dried apple. Moreover, the long maceration in conact with grape seeds make the wines very healthy to drink.
The proanthocyanidins they contain have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties..
Reasons Why Georgian KVEVRI Has Become So Popular All Over the World:
1 Kvevri or Qvevri (alternative spelling) is a perfect vessel for both red and white winemaking
A kvevri is a clay vessel used for both the fermentation and ageing of wine. The traditional kvevri winemaking in Georgia is very old and unique. It has been inspiring many wine countries(Rome= dolium Spain = tinaja, Italy = amphora, Greece = pithos). The results have been extremely good. There's no doubt that fermentation in terracotta vessels can yield new and very fine wine characteristics.
The Kvevri, buried in the ground, takes grapes back to its roots, wrapping the nascent wine in the earth element, coolly and quietly nurturing, encouraging it to become the very best expression of itself, entirely unimpeded by imposed flavours. Whereas a new oak barrel can bludgeon the essence of the wine into cloying submission, more often than not imposing its own fat, thick weight at the expense of vitality and purity, Kvevri would never be so presumptuous. .
Many of the Kvevri wines, red and white, are made with full or partial skin contact – whole bunches, stems (chacha in Georgian) and all are crushed and placed in the vessel and left there. How long is up to the winemaker. Depending on the vintage and the style of wine that winemaker aims, the process of leaving the must in contact with the ‘chacha’ can be shortened. For winemakers all over the world, Kvevri became a symbol of returning to more natural methods - really a shot against the modern industry's pristine and science-based approach
2 Natural way of winemaking, no fining agents, no filtering, no excessive racking.
While the rest of the world calls this radical, risky, "natural" winemaking, the Georgians know winemaking on kvevri as simply the way that wine has been made since time began.
The inside surface of kvevri is covered with a thin layer of beeswax - essential for hygiene. A mixture of crushed limestone and water or hot water and ash or even just rigorous scrubbing are all effective methods of cleaning and sanitizing which do not involve the use of anything noxious. There is no contact with fining agents at any stage of the process and only a very small amount of sulphites are added if necessary. Typically long extraction of the tannins ensures that the wine remains stable.
Georgians call leaving the wine on the skins ‘leaving it with the mother’, and particularly, when the grapes are organically and biodynamically grown, she does a sensational job. She gives nutrients, protects, adds textural richness and layers of complexity simply not achievable without such close synergy between liquid and solid.
3 Kvevri is a key authentic instrument in making Kakhetian wine (aka Amber or Orange wine) wine.
Kakhetian ( Kakheti, the eastern province of Georgia) method of making wine without changing has gone from being ancient history to being cutting edge. Some of the world's most innovative and risk-taking winemakers (primarily Italians, Gravner and Bea) now make wine the Kakhetian way: harvesting grapes; throwing crushed whole bunches of white grapes into kvevri. Four months to a year later, occasionally even longer, natural wine is produced – nothing added, nothing taken away.
The white wine changes color during the aging process: from pale yellow, it turns orange or amber. The results are truly astounding; the wines are completely unique, intense, beautifully aromatic, lively and heavily tannic with high level of procyanidin.
“High levels of polyphenols and procyanidins from seeds, helps repair cells in arteries that feed the heart, have strong antioxidant properties and other health benefits” says Professor Corder's in his book “The Wine Diet". If you love the taste of very dry, rich-in tannin, Mediterranean-style vigorous red wine, our wine raisins are just for you.
Roger Corder, professor of experimental therapeutics at the William Harvey Research Institute in London with the new realities of wine and health:
During the orange wine tasting, there’s really few phrases which would describe your feeling, except perhaps “the overwhelming sense of being alive”