Qvevri wine making technology

There are 500 local varieties of vines in Georgia.

All varieties of wine grapes distribution zone has unique features and characteristics.

Grape varieties for Industrial production in Eastern Georgia are: “Rkhatsiteli”, “Saperavi”, “Khikhvi”, “Kisi”, “Tavkveri”, “Chinese”, “Goreli Mtsvane”, “Shavi Kapistoni “and others.

East Georgia is famous for it’s grape varieties such as:” Tsolikauri”, “Aleksndrouli”, “Khrakhuna”,” Ojaleshi”, “Khachachi”, “Tsulikidzis Tetra” and etc.

With wine grape varieties, there are a variety of hybrid ones, grown in Georgia which are not used for wine-making, because wine made of this grape, contains toxic substances.

Historically, several methods of qvevri wine makinging existed in Georgia , each can be significant, mainly, according to characteristic features of a zone. For example, In Kakheti region alcoholic fermentation involves total number of (“Chacha” in Georgian ),Imeretian wine fermentation includes adding 5-8 per cent of grappa ,on sweet wine which is poured in qvevri s.

Kakhetinian wine making method

Wine making in qvevri , requires great deal of labour, faith in the job, love and responsibility toward ancestors or future generation. That’s why local wine color emits heat of the sun's rays .

The local method of qvevri wine fermentation involves grapes processing simulteniously with grappa and stems. After alcoholic fermentation, in 5-6 month duration, white wine turns into grappa, when the red one needs 1-2 months .

Grapes, for wine-making, are picked when being well riped. At the same time, soft maturity is necessary which is expressed in amber color.

According to the traditional method, grapes, are placed in winepress.

IT’s a large-sized vessel for pressing grapes. It used to be made of lime, chestnut, elm, walnut wood. In old times it used to be curved in stone or rock .

he ancient cave presses, date back to the Hellenistic period (second millennium BC, Zeniti ). They can be found in the early and middle feudal ages as well.

While pressing , sweet grapes flow into the qvevri . Having been fermented in air , stems are added.

Stems contain 10 percent of the high-molecular substances - lignin. In the air oxidation, it forms aromatic aldehydes in order to improve future wine and flavors blended with wine.

Special attention is given to crush fermentation process. Crush has to be stirred 5-6 times a day, with the special tool. It excludes rising grappa above that can produce unwanted microbiological environment.

During stirring process mass aeration and formations of body shaping takes place.

After alcohol fermentation, grappa emits carbon dioxide on the bottom of the vessel , while wine substance remains above. If necessary, vessel is filled with the same type of wine and qvevri is covered non hermetically. 3-4 days later, the qvevri throat is processed with sulfur smoke and closed hermetically. Grappa is removed when wine gets taste, color and from stems.

First of all,” fresh faction, formed above grappa , is removed to another qvevri where fermentation starts. Wine is gaining unique features, distinctive aroma and flavor.

While fermentation wine is under constant organoleptic and laboratory control. Attention is paid to the process of development and the quality of the wine.

Mature wines are bottled and sealed with cork stopper. In the glass bottle, wine continues to evolve. As more time passes, the taste of the wine improves, the bouquet becomes better, smoother and more pleasant to drink .

Imeretian wine making method

Imeretian method of qvevri wine making, involves sweet fermentation in qvevri , with the addition of 5-8% of the grappa. After 5-6 months wine is poured into another qvevri for aging.

AS many century-old experience and practice has shown, adding definite amount of grappa while fermentation, positively affects on Imeretian wine stability and organoleptic values. Tanninum consistence of grappa, binds protein substances and other colloids. Tannin allocated in sediment, takes away the unwanted microns. Such wines are well cleaned and naturally stable..

While vintage, grapes with 20-23% of the level of sugar are selected and picked . Grapes are pressed and sweet substance flows into qvevri , where 5-8% alcohol is added. Excessive alcohol hardens Imeretian wine.

After filling the qvevri , space for fermentation is left, volume of which consists of 10-15% . 50 cm long” aerial “is made and qvevri is closed with chestnut and oak valve.

While fermentation, grappa stirring process takes place and 3-4 time aeration, strengthens time of yeast vitality.

After strong fermentation, qvevri is filled with the same content of young wine and is blocked by a valve. At this stage the valve is non hermtically closed , which promotes gas disservice.

Wine, made according to Imeretian technology, is famous for a variety of aromas, flavors and fresh sour. The local wine, seems to be alike Imeretian man by it’s nature and matches with their cuisine.