In Georgia, our Country of the Month, one of the traditional wine making methods involves the use of a Qvevri. A Qvevri is a large, clay Amphora like vessel that typically holds anywhere from 400-2,000 liters. The Qvevri is usually buried in the ground up to its neck.
To begin the wine making process, usually grapes are feet-pressed. This is the gegentlest way to obtain a juicy pulp because the seeds remain intact and does not give the wine a strong, bitter taste. Once the grapes have been feet-pressed, the pulp, skins, stalks and pips (often referred to as “the mother” in Kakheti) are placed into a Qvevri for fermentation. The fermentation is done naturally with no cultured yeasts or nutrients added. Next, the Qvevri is sealed with a wooden lid and earth or clay, and the wine is left to mature for up to six months. After six months, the Qvevri is opened to reveal a bright, delicious liquid.
Want to learn more about food and drink in our Country of the Month? Check out Savoir-Vivre, coming soon to SCOLA.org!