Coating the Outside of the Qvevri

Previously I wrote about making a wire grid on my qvevri. The wire made applying the lime-based mortar quite easy. I simply mixed the mortar in small batches and started applying it to the outside of the qvevri. The wire seemed to help with applying the spreadable mortar that reminded me of spreading peanut butter […]

Preparing Our Qvevri: Coating the Interior with Beeswax

While in the country Georgia, we learned about waxing a qvevri. The inside walls of a qvevri are coated with melted beeswax. This is often done by the qvevri maker after firing; however, winemakers can also wax the interior of the qvevri. I asked qvevri maker Zaliko Bodjadze, in Western Georgia near the village of […]

Bottling our 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon

After almost 21 months in barrel, it was time to bottle our Atlas Peak AVA, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. We received the grapes from Stagecoach Vineyards on October 20th, 2012. After destemming and placing the grapes in a fermentation bin, we selected a yeast to add to the grapes. During the week of fermentation we […]

Excited about a Hole in the Ground, Again

On our visit to the country Georgia last September, our driver laughed at us because we wanted to see a hole in the ground. Both Kathy, myself and two apprentice winemakers, one from Austria and the other from Ukraine were excited to see a hole in the ground. However, those laughing or smiling did not […]

From Sealed Tomb Life Springs Forth

Once upon a time, thousands and thousands of years ago, earthen vessels resembling qvevri were used to bury people in a sitting position. Sealed in an earthen vessel and buried underground seems so final. However with wine, it is representative of birth.

This is what it was like for Rkatsiteli, buried in a qvevri under […]

It Finally Happened

Although larger than the qvevri purchased, Zaliko Bodjadze’s qvevris rest in a peaceful place.

After wishing and planning, I purchased a qvevri while in Western, Georgia. I’ll have to measure the size of the qvevri when I get it back to Maryland; however, it looks to be about 20 liters. The qvevri was not […]

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 […]