Third Vintage in Qvevri

In early October we had an offer to harvest Vidal grapes at Harvest Ridge Winery in Marydel, Delaware. Vidal was one of the white grape varieties that I had wanted to try in our qvevri. Previous vintages includes Muscat from Lodi and Rkatsiteli from Central Virginia. We did not harvest those grapes. Jason Hopwood, vineyard […]

My First Qvevri Wine – Not What I Expected

My first qvevri wine is a 2014 Muscat. Fermented and aged in qvevri for six months.

My first qvevri wine made in Maryland is not what I expected; however, it definitely was worth the wait. Besides the color, the wine is great. I did not expect the light yellow color. After all, maceration on […]

What’s Trending in Beverage Alcohol

The opening general session of the 2015 Craft Beverages Unlimited, formally Wineries Unlimited, focused on trends in beer, wine and spirits. The speaker, Danelle Kosmal from Nielsen’s Beverage Alcohol Practice presented statistics gather by Nielsen.

Danelle opened her talk with the number of new alcohol beverages that Nielsen tracked in 2014. The astonishing number of […]

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 […]

2015 Winemaking Resolutions

I neglected making yearly resolutions last year, so I wanted to make them before I forget to do so this year. My first resolution is to learn to make grappa. It’s not that I like grappa that much, although I had some good grappa in Italy and some good chacha in Georgia. It is the […]

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 […]

The Burial of our Qvevri, the Birth of a Marani

I have been digging a hole for awhile. I had to place the qvevri in it several times to judge how much deeper to dig. Finally it was time to bury the qvevri. I placed the qvevri in the hole and tried to make it level. I slowly added soil, mostly clay-based around the bottom. […]

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 […]

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 […]