Qvevri Wines – Different Techniques

Rkatsiteli in qvevri with juice and chacha

Qvevri are earthen vessels crafted from clay, fired, coated on the inside with beeswax, often coated on the outside with cement and buried in the ground. Sizes range from one liter to thousands of liters. Compared to other winemaking vessels, qvevri are relatively inexpensive. For example, two […]

Why You Do Not Get a Qvevri Taste in your Wine

Some people, especially when they first taste a qvevri wine, think they are tasting the qvevri. This is similar to tasting what an oak barrel imparts to the wine if aged. However unlike other vessels for fermenting and aging wines, qvevri do not impart aromas and tastes to the wine. Why not?

After the qvevri […]

Is It Qvevri Wine or Natural Wine?

There is some discussion amongst winemakers in Georgia on whether a Georgian traditional wine made in qvevri should be referred to as a qvevri wine or a natural wine. Those in the natural wine court are beginning to become more vocal. There is a difference in the two, although to many the two terms “qvevri […]

Making Qvevri Wine: Punch Down

Although we were not present at Twins Wine Cellars at Napareuli to punch down our cap, we did punch down the cap on a large capacity qvevri at the winery. Our previous experience of punching down was at Tin Lizzie Wineworks in Clarksville, Maryland last fall. Kathy and I went to the winery daily and […]

Making Qvevri Wine: Putting Grapes into the Qvevri

Getting a bucket of grapes and juice from a large capacity qvevri

During the morning we helped to harvest Rkatsiteli grapes. By mid-afternoon, the load of grapes arrived at the winery. The protocol at Twins Wine Cellars at Napareuli was to destem the grapes. The stems would be discarded and the destemmed grapes and […]

Making Qvevri Wine: Cleaning the Qvevri

At home, I am very concerned about making wine in carboys and small plastic fermenters that are clean and sanitized. Sometimes it takes a brush to remove crud. If you just sanitize, you end up with sanitized crud in your fermentation vessel. So I was naturally interested in how to prepare a qvevri for receiving […]

Harvesting Rkatsiteli in Napareuli, Georgia (Sakartvelo)


Under a warm sun, Kathy and I began harvesting in the original Napa, a small town in the Kakheti region of the country Georgia called Napareuli. Knowledgeable harvesters were in the vineyards at 6:00 am. By 11:00 am the sun was sharing it warmth. We were picking Rkatsiteli, the most planted white variety […]

Harvesting Viognier in Maryland

Kathy and I had an opportunity to harvest Viognier at Catoctin Breeze Vineyard in Thurmont, Maryland last week. It was our second harvest this year. Our first experience was harvesting the red grape Lenoir at Messina Hof in Bryan, Texas. The Viognier grapes were just a tad more challenging to pick. Because of their light […]