Qvevri are large earthenware vessels used for the fermentation, storage and ageing of traditional Georgian wine. Resembling large, egg-shaped amphorae without handles, they are either buried below ground or set into the floors of large wine cellars. Archaeological excavations in southern Georgian region uncovered evidence of grape pips and qvevris dating back to the 4th millennium B.C. Typically the juice is left to ferment into wine for at least five to six months before being decanted and bottled.
The process of making wine in qvevris involves pressing the grapes and then pouring the juice, grape skins, stalks and pips into the qvevri, which is then sealed. The qvevris are sealed inside with hot beeswax and its lid – after malolactic fermentation – is sealed with wet clay coiled around the top and then a heavy stone placed over it. The wine is subject to relatively minimal amounts of oxygen if well sealed. In addition to breathing, they are surrounded by a constant temperature on all sides allowing for slow gradual fermentation and relatively stable storage conditions.
Try these authentic and surprising wines (in a good way!) through our selection of qvevri wines.