For more than 8,000 years, Georgian wine has been made using qvevri: giant amphorae buried beneath the earth while the wine inside ferments.
Varying in size between 20 and 10,000 litres, each vessel is perfectly shaped to keep the wine at an ideal temperature, surviving warm Caucasian summers and cold winters on the mountainside.
How qvevri are made is vital to the winemaking process. The clay itself must be carefully chosen to infuse the wine with its distinctive taste. But while the ancient manufacturing process lies at the heart of Georgian culture, some say it needs a major upgrade in a bid to boost quality.
Qvevri.xyz are a Georgian company at the heart of this new revolution. Working alongside Dutch specialist Olivier van Herpt, they’ve developed a new technique to create earthenware qvevri using a 3D printer.
“Primitive methods of production [means that] today, qvevri are inaccessible and of poor or inconsistent quality," the team says. “Using elements of the traditional qvevri-making process and modern technologies, we improved its structure and quality, yet kept its unique characteristics.”
The team are now working to take their modern qvevri to the market, rolling out production in Georgia.
Source: Georgian Journal