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 […]

Sealing Qvevri for a Long Winter’s Nap

Sealed with a glass top, with a sample of the qvevri wine

I waited to the last day of December to seal the qvevri and cover the area with several inches of sand. We had a very warm December with 29 of 31 days recording above average temperatures. Ten of those days, temperatures were […]

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 […]

3:00 AM Punchdown – Not Very Romantic

Candle light and a barrel room provide a romantic setting.

Some people associate wine and winemaking with romanticism. It is not difficult to imagine why a romantic vision is painted on people’s minds. Picture a candlelit barrel room. A small table with white linen has two red wine glasses with a dark ruby colored […]

Oops!

This morning the grapes rose to the top of the qvevri. Punch downs were every three hours.

I wrote yesterday that we filled the qvevri to within two inches of the top or surface of the marani. Big mistake! In going to punch down early Saturday morning, I discovered that the fermentation was rather […]

Qvevri Winemaking in Maryland

Kathy and I acquired some Rkatsiteli grapes yesterday from our friends at Bluemont Vineyards in Bluemont, Virginia. Arriving home, we began to process the grapes and prepare the qvevri. Qvevri winemaking is an ancient winemaking method and the only winemaking process on the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Cleaning the Qvevri

I had learned […]

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 […]

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 […]