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The History Of Georgian Wine (Part 1)

Updated: Feb 18

Abelines Trading would like to share more about our wine and it's culture with you, to further improve your understanding of our unique collection of Georgian Wine. We will be posting our blogs once every week, so stay tuned!



Tradition Wine making in Georgia

Georgian winemaking practices existed 3,000 years before the invention of writing and 5,000 years before the start of the Iron Age. Based on the sentence above, we can see and understand that the making of Georgian wines could be one of the oldest forms of winemaking. Till today, wineries in Georgia do stick to the traditional method of making their wine which is what we are going to learn about today.

Qvevri, the tradition of wine-making was inscribed on the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Georgia registry in 2011. In 2013, UNESCO added the traditional Georgian method of making wine in Qvevri as Qvevri Wine to its list of world's Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The making of Georgian Wines using Qvevri

The Qvevri are vessels made from natural clay that has been cleaned thoroughly and are shaped into vessels that might resemble your flower vases. The sizes vary from holding 20 liters and up to 10,000 liters of wine. The grapes used for the wines are handpicked to ensure their quality and taste stay consistent and the quality of the wine is up to the required standards. There are a variety of up to 500 grape types in Georgia and this equates to 1/6 of the world’s grape types. A good representation would be Saperavi. Once the grapes have been cleaned and crushed, the juice, grape skins, stems, and seeds will then be added into the Qvevri vessels for further aging.

When filled with the juice of the harvest, the Qvevris are then placed underground as the earth’s temperature remains relatively constant throughout the year in Georgia at the temperature best suited. The Qvevris are then topped with a glass lid/black stone slab and sealed with wet clay. The clay has to be constantly kept moist to prevent cracking and that is to prevent oxidation and other pollutants entering the wine. During the whole operation, wine closed in Qvevri gets a unique, deep tannin flavor. This method is used for producing both, red and white qvevri wines.

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