Qvevri are the first non-food items to be added to the State Register of Designations of Origin and Geographical Indications of Products
New York, NY / June 28, 2021: The National Wine Agency of the Ministry of Agriculture of the country of Georgia reports that qvevri (pronounced KWEH-vree) are the first non-agricultural product to be listed in the Georgian National Register of Protected Geographical Indications (PGI). This IGP legally establishes Georgia as the place of origin of qvevri, and codifies their forms, capacities, raw materials and methods of production.
The Georgian National Register of Protected Geographical Indications (PGI) aligns with the EU classification system. Like the French system, the IGP appellation is similar to a VDP (Vin de Pays) classification. Now, under the IGP regulations, only raw materials obtained in Georgia should be used for the production of qvevri.
Qvevri are large clay vessels, often 1000 liters or more, that are buried up to the neck to keep temperatures constant during fermentation and aging. In the traditional method, the winegrowers ferment the juice and the skins together, and skin contact transforms what would otherwise be white wines into amber wines with tannins (some outlets have dubbed these wines “orange wines”). Winemakers use qvevri to ferment red grapes as well as white grapes. Qvevri are also used to age and preserve wines.
The president of the National Intellectual Property Center of Georgia (Sakpatenti), Mr Mindia Davitadze explains: “Georgia is the birthplace of wine whose archeology has been proven, and the Georgians have been making wine in qvevri continuously for 8,000 years. “
the Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture, Mr. Levan Davitashvili, said, “With the growing popularity of amber and natural wines, the demand for qvevri wine is increasing in Georgia and internationally. For example, over the past five years, exports of qvevri wine to the United States have grown by an average of over 34%. Now we are even seeing wines made in qvevri being made there (as well as in Italy, Slovenia and many other countries). The new qvevri IGP is expected to further increase the overall demand for Georgian wine, increase its value and facilitate the global promotion of Georgian wine. “
Qvevri are handcrafted by master potters in Georgia. In 2013, the United Nations added qvevri winemaking to UNESCO’s list of documenting the life of mankind Intangible cultural heritage.
Learn about Georgian wines and winemaking
The country of Georgia (capital: Tbilisi) is located on the eastern shore of the Black Sea, at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. This tiny country – slightly smaller than Connecticut – is a biodiversity hotspot, with topography ranging from tropical to alpine. It lies about 1000 km east of Rome and is bordered by Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkey and the Black Sea.
Researchers recognize Georgia as the birthplace of wine. In 2015, archaeologists working in Georgia discovered ancient qvevri containing residues from cultivated grapes. Using archaeological, biomolecular, and other methods, researchers have dated these artifacts to 6000 BCE, during the Neolithic period. A research report published by the United States National Academy of Sciences describes the discovery as the first evidence of winemaking and winemaking.
Home to over 525 native grape varieties, Georgia has deep wine roots in every community. In the post-Soviet era, the country’s wine industry transformed from a cottage industry into a cottage industry, producing some of the world’s most distinctive wines using both traditional Georgian and European winemaking methods. .
The National Wine Agency of Georgia strives to preserve the country’s Qvevri wine-making tradition, to control the quality of all Georgian wines, and to promote Georgian wines to the world.