Ancient World Winemaking in Maryland

Early spring marks the time when a white wine made in a buried qvevri is opened. This week we opened our 2015 Rkatsiteli after macerating on the skins and a few stems for six months. For a bit of a recap. We sourced the grapes from a Virginia winery in September. Fermentation was robust overflowing […]

Evaluating my 2015 Winemaking Resolutions

Cloudy wine and skins at the top of the qvevri while racking to a carboy, a 2015 winemaking resolution fulfilled.

Sometimes making New Year’s resolutions is easy to do in January, but circumstances are fluid and may alter your hopes. That was certainly true with my 2015 winemaking resolutions. At best, I was one […]

Primary Fermentation Completed

The primary fermentation in the qvevri completed a few days ago. Yesterday I took the specific gravity reading and it measured below 1.000. After cleaning the qvevri’s lip and a few inches down with a paper towel and a bit of potassium metabisulfite, I sealed the qvevri with a ring of clay and a lid […]

Taste of our First Qvevri Wine

This photo was taken of the wine and the qvevri. The wine spent the last two weeks in a carboy settling.

Two weeks ago Kathy and I racked our wine out of our buried qvevri. The wine was cloudy and the skins had not dropped from the surface. My theory was that the wine […]

Opening the Qvevri – not what I Expected

On Sunday we opened the qvevri. I sealed the top of the qvevri last October 31st. The wine had been in the qvevri for 5 ½ months. I expected to see the clear wine at the top while the lees, seeds and skins in layers at the bottom. This is not what happened.

Cloudy […]

Mentoring Beginning Winemakers

My wife, Kathy, gave me a wine kit as a Christmas present in 2007. We have been writing about wineries for a year and made the decision that if we were going to write about wine, we should make wine. The kit remained in the box for six months until I gained the courage to […]

Update on Qvevri Wine

Regardless of air temperatures falling to 37ºF (3ºC) the must and juice in the qvevri are happily fermenting. My original specific gravity reading on Saturday was 1.110. As of yesterday, the SG was 1.046. Put in terms of potential alcohol, when I started the fermentation there was a 15% alcohol potential. Now that is down […]

2014 Bordeaux Blend at Tin Lizzie Wineworks

We filled the press with the must.

Our enthusiasm over making our first qvevri wine in the United States obscures the other wines that we are making with this years fruit. For the third time we are making wine at Tin Lizzie Wineworks in Clarksville, Maryland. We bottled the 2012 Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon […]

Winemaking in a Buried Qvevri

Sometimes plans do not work out. I had planned to purchase Viognier and make a Viognier wine in my qvevri. However, travel from mid-August through mid-October ruled that out. We were not home for stretched long enough to acquire grapes and ferment them in the qvevri. It is always a good idea to have a […]

Preparing our Qvevri for Burial

On our first visit to qvevri maker Zaliko Bodjadze we learned that we should coat the outside of the qvevri with a lime-based mortar. Zaliko demonstrated a trick he uses to help make the mortar mix stay in place and adhere to the qvevri. I hope his method works. Zaliko used galvanized wire to create […]