So what even is a Qvevi?
Qvevri are a Georgian style of amphora that have been used for wine fermentation and aging for 8000 years. They look like a human sized wasp nest made of clay, and they make amazing wines. Unlike other styles of amphora, they have no handles and are usually buried underground or held in stands.
How do I make wine in a Qvevri?
Grapes are pressed, then everything goes in! Juice, skins, pips and stalks go in, the top is sealed, and nature takes it's course. Juice ferments for roughly 5-6 months before being decanted and bottled. It's one of the simplest, purest ways of making wine- and can produce some of the best examples of natural, minimal interference wines. Once emptied, the Qvevri is washed, lime sterilized and beeswax is re-coated. Ready to be filled up many times again!
Why would I want to make wine in a Qvevri?
The controlled oxidation that occurs in clay is truly special, and makes some really distinct wines. Whites can develop to an amber like orange hue, and take on notes of honey, toasted almond, stewed stone fruit and sometimes even petrol and flint. Reds soften their tannins and develop a richness and depth of flavour that would usually take years in wood. Rosé wines can deepen the fresh strawberry notes to jams and marzipan. Even if you want to age an existing wine in Qvevri, spectacular results can take place.
Wow! Sounds great. Where do I get my hands on one?
Right here! You've found the only distributer for these amazing vessels in North America! Good work! Please feel free to purchase through the website and we will be in contact immediately to arrange shipping, or contact us with any questions you may have! We are always happy to chat with you.
While I'm here, what are some some fun Qvevri facts?
-Our qvevri are painstakingly handmade by an 8th generation maker!
-Clay for Qvevri must be carefully chosen, as the mineral content will change the wine's character. Ours come from a specially selected region that contains pyrite and other minerals said to strengthen the clay as well as impart a desired mineral quality.
-Qvevri can also be spelled as kvevri, but this is a little confusing and no one in Georgia spells the English translation that way anyhow.
-Qvevris were also used for storing brandy, grain, butter, cheese and a variety of other perishable foodstuffs, although in Georgia they have always been primarily used for wine-making. (Thanks Wiki!)
-Qvevri are best when coated with beeswax- it helps sterilize, seal, simplifies cleaning and allows for the porous nature of the clay to let oxidization occur.
-Burying a Qvevri underground will stabilize the structure as well as provide stable temperatures. And are the ultimate hide and seek spot in your back yard.
-Some Qvevri have been reused repeatedly for hundreds of fermentations, over hundreds of years.