One of the considerable periods in the history of the Georgian winemaking is the 19th century. Thanks to great efforts of the outstanding public figure and poet Alexander Chavchavadze, Georgian wine has approached the European. In 1830 the wine which is very popular even today, was produced in A. Chavchavadze’s manor. Since the beginning of 1890 was already regularly produced wines such as: Mukuzani, Napareuli, Teliani. In 1870 Georgian wine from Ivan Mukhransky’s cellars was exported from Georgia. At this period Europe got acquainted with Georgian wines and brands. In 1900 at the Parisian exhibition of wines was presented Georgian wines, which garnered much attention. After this, Georgian wine has achieved big reputation on the international scene.
Thanks to climatic conditions and location there is about 525 native grades of grapes in Georgia. Georgia differs from other countries in this aspect. But most important is the eight thousand-year tradition of production in Georgian of wines in big jugs (Qvevri), which is used to this day. These clay jugs are unique for their distinguished forms, simplicity and their archaism and they play an irreplaceable role in case of production of Georgian wine.
Clay jugs of wine, Qvevri, found in Georgia, began in the 5-6th centuries BC. Insisting of wine in Qvevri for alcoholic fermentation and continuation of fermentation on chacha, before final process, is the most important and considerable rule in wine-making process. Sustained on the mash, wine accepts dark straw, golden or tea color, transparent and pure. It has tones of a fruit, contains tannins and has natural stability.
Buried in the earth, Qvevri allows the temperature not to change and constantly keeps 13-15 degrees, necessary for fermentation of wine. The chemical process of fermentation comes normally and chronologically, in difference from factory made wine, where special additives and aggregates are used.
One of the big miracles in Georgian winemaking is aroma which proceeds from a Qvevri. This is such a pleasant, beautiful and the ageless phenomenon, that it takes the breath away.
The traditional Georgian method of insisting the wine ferments in a Qvevri was given the status of a non-material monument of cultural heritage (UNESCO) in 2013. This recognition specifies uniqueness of this method and is a message for the whole world. Wine is one of most important components of oldest Georgian culture. This recognition is important for increasing the recognition of Qvevri wine and will help in promoting Georgian wine around the world.