Traditional Georgian
winemaking with the Qvevri method

Traditional Georgian Winemaking

Traditional Georgian red and white winemaking involves crushing the grapes, then pouring the juice, and the skins, stems, and pips (known as 'chacha') into a Qvevri, buried underground and lined with beeswax, then covered and sealed for fermentation and ageing. Depending on the type of wine, decanting and bottling can happen after few months, at which time the chacha (collected on the bottom of the vessel) is later distilled into brandy.

The Qvevri Method

Among the world's earliest examples of winemaking technology, and native to Georgia, Qvevri (or Kvevri) are egg-shaped earthenware pottery vessels resembling an amphora without handles, used for the fermentation, storage and ageing of traditional Georgian wine. It is designed to be buried with only its rim visible above the ground.

The clay used to manufacture a Qvevri is carefully chosen. It must contain limestone, along with the impurities of precious metals like gold, silver and copper, as these characteristics react with the wine, strengthening the walls of the Qvevri and acting as a natural antiseptic.

The making of these vessels is an artisanal art form that few families do. The ancient knowledge has been handed down throughout the generations. They specifically choose perfect clay for creating them because that will determine the characteristics of the wine mineral content. On average, it takes around three months to mould, dry and harden a Qvevri jug. Their capacity can range from 100 - 3,500 litres and is buried underground to keep temperatures consistent during the wine fermentation process.

Our story

With a passion for wine and history, Qarteli's mission is to tie Georgia's oldest wine tradition to a dynamic future in Canada.

For thousands of years, the production of Qvevri – and the making of traditional Georgian wine – was a skill passed down from generation to generation. Since Qarteli is indeed an Ontario-produced wine, rest assured that the Qvevri clay vessels have indeed been crafted by hand in Georgia and shipped to Canada to ensure the wine continues to harness its national heritage and distinctive flavours.

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Visit our winery to taste some of the best wines in Ontario. Our welcoming and knowledgeable tasting room associates will pour your our selected wines and give you the background and specifications of each. We would be pleased to answer any questions on the history of the traditional Georgian wines and the Qvevry Method.

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Contact Information

CANADA, Ontario

1750 Steeles Ave. W Unit 7
Concord, L4K 2L7

Call us to find out more

905 597-5974


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