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20 December, 2016

The Qvevri  is  a unique  oval-shaped  earthenware  vessel  in which wine is fermented and stored

       Let no one think that Georgians are boasting, our roots truly have been deeply reinforced in the land blessed by God, the land allocated to the Virgin Mary, filled with lots of treasure gifted by God. Since olden  times-Here ,  in this  soil  saturated  with  the extract  flown  from the  mountains’  streams, more than one varieties of  vine  opened  their  babyish eyes, made the first  steps  and   freely dispersed over  the Alazani  Valley like  the  winning Pearls, but did not stop,…it’s  wonder!...paved the way even up to the Man’s Heart,   penetrated within the Heart of His Heart and settled down there forever.  For the sake of  His  love towards  Vine itself,  a Man's Heart  merged with His  Mind  and   with own hands  He  knitted the whole  subtlety  in creating  an  unrivaled earthenware  vessel ,  whichHe called  the Qvevri . The creation of the  oldest  Qvevri  on the  land  blessed by God  began more than 7,000 years ago, - yes! - of the very  mystical vessel, the process of Vine murmuring  and fermentation in the midst of the Heart  of which became a famous ancient  tradition in the field of wine-making. It is just Georgia-the only and unique country from which the method of wine-making in the Qvevri   spread to other countries, (such as Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, and beyond).  By the way, In the old days in our country   the  Qvevri  was usually used  not only for  wine-making,  but  for storing  wheat, butter, cheese, chacha, vodka,  pickles and other foodstuffs.

       Blessed be the very Hands which created a large earthenware vesselQvevri,  resembling egg-shaped amphorae without handles. This merciful indeed vessel is either buried below ground or set into the floors of large wine cellars, so called Maranis.   Qvevris vary in size: volumes range from 20L to around 10,000 L; the vessel of 800 L capacity is typical.

       It overjoys us to have the fact, that archaeological excavations in the southern region of Georgia, in particular, the localities of  Kvemo Kartli (notably in  Dangreuli (Ruined )  Gora, Gadachrili ( Pruned)  Gora and the village  Imiri ) uncovered evidence of grape pips and  Qvevris dating back to the VI millennium B.C.

,,alive’’,  this gian      You’ll be surprised,  but it must be said, that the Qvevri  handcrafted with special clay is  t ,, body ''  half-buried in the ground  ,,breathes’’,    ,,life  is lived''  in  it  and  this  ''life''  is the unique Georgian wine itself,- yes!-  they usually   say – There is  the  same wine in the Qvevri, as -the soul in the body. If we part them from each other, do you know what will happen?  The ,,body’’ will decay and die ... It's a pity, is not it? -  should not be constantly streaming  ,,life’’  in this  unearthly  ,,body’’ lubricated  inside with  the melted fat or beeswax?  - Yeah, it should!  Its  ,,soul’’ is a tiny ,, baby’’, isn’t it?-  ,,alive’’,  with the  ,,infant’’  veins, ,,babyish’’  tears, murmuring, and if it is  in a healthy  ,,body’’  ready  for becoming staid, as soon as it stops  growth,  it will be turned into the  healthy wine. The   Qvevri can be used for hundred years and  more so, that does not affect the taste of the wine.  The empty, ,,exhausted’’  Qvevri needs care,  needn’t  it? -  Rinsing with limewater and re-lubricating with  beeswax  will settle  the ,,life’’ down again  in  its ,, Heart ‘‘ with God’s grace’!-"Oh, Lord, You-Kurmukhi’s Church! (St. George’s church)  give us great abundance of red wine in our Qvevris!’’... (Takaishvili 1913: 1).


       In 2013 the Georgian wine-making method in the Qvevri was given a Cultural Heritage status by the committee of UNESCO and  the monument of  the very Vessel was placed in the inner courtyard of the UN Office at Geneva.