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Exploring the Qvevri Method: A Fascinating Journey into Georgian Winemaking

  • Posted on
  • By Marieke van Veen
Exploring the Qvevri Method: A Fascinating Journey into Georgian Winemaking

De Qvevri-methode is een eeuwenoude Georgische wijnproductietechniek waarbij aardewerken vaten genaamd qvevri worden gebruikt. Het gebruik van hele druiven tijdens de fermentatie zorgt voor diepere smaken en complexiteit. Natuurlijke fermentatie met inheemse gisten en rijping in de qvevri dragen bij aan de unieke karakteristieken van de wijn. De Qvevri-methode, die diep geworteld is in de Georgische wijntraditie, wordt wereldwijd erkend en inspireert wijnmakers om te experimenteren met deze fascinerende techniek.

In the world of winemaking, traditions often hold the key to exceptional creations. One such ancient technique that has been captivating wine enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike is the Qvevri Method. Originating from Georgia, this traditional winemaking process involves the use of earthenware vessels called qvevri, resulting in wines of unique character and complexity. Join us on a journey to discover the wonders of the Qvevri Method and its significance in the realm of winemaking.


The Qvevri


An Earthly Vessel of Magic: At the heart of the Qvevri Method lies the qvevri itself – a large clay vessel that serves as both a fermentation and aging vessel. These earthenware amphorae are meticulously crafted by skilled artisans and come in various sizes, ranging from a few hundred to several thousand liters in capacity. Buried in the ground, the qvevri provides a stable environment for the winemaking process to unfold.


A Whole Grape Experience


One of the distinguishing features of the Qvevri Method is the utilization of whole grapes during fermentation. Unlike other winemaking techniques, the qvevri allows the grape juice, including the skins, seeds, and sometimes even stems, to ferment together. This holistic approach facilitates a deeper extraction of flavors, tannins, and aromatic compounds, resulting in wines with remarkable complexity and depth.


Embracing Natural Fermentation


In the Qvevri Method, the fermentation process relies solely on indigenous yeasts present on the grape skins. These wild yeasts initiate the fermentation by converting the grape sugars into alcohol, showcasing the true essence of the vineyard's terroir. This natural fermentation process can extend for weeks or even months, allowing the wine to develop unique characteristics and express its sense of place.


Aging with a Touch of Earth


Once fermentation is complete, the qvevri continues to play its role by providing an environment for aging the wine. The clay vessel allows for a gentle micro-oxygenation process, where small amounts of oxygen permeate through the walls, enhancing the wine's texture and softening its tannins. This natural aging process imparts a subtle earthiness and contributes to the overall complexity and harmony of the final product.


Georgian Heritage and Global Recognition


The Qvevri Method is deeply rooted in Georgian winemaking traditions that date back thousands of years. It represents a cultural heritage that has been passed down through generations of winemakers. While traditionally associated with Georgian wines, the Qvevri Method has gained international recognition and has inspired winemakers worldwide to experiment with this ancient technique. It serves as a testament to the enduring legacy of Georgian winemaking and the timeless appeal of the Qvevri Method.


The Qvevri Method is a testament to the artistry and wisdom of winemakers who have embraced and refined this traditional technique over centuries. With its reliance on whole grapes, natural fermentation, and aging in clay vessels, the Qvevri Method produces wines of unparalleled character, depth, and complexity. As we continue to explore and appreciate the diverse world of winemaking, the Qvevri Method stands out as a captivating and cherished tradition that continues to captivate wine enthusiasts and illuminate the path to extraordinary wine experiences.

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