The Georgian Winemaking Tradition
Even before Christianity, for over 8000 years, winemaking has been an integral part of Georgian culture. Georgians believe that wine is God’s given gift to the nation. For this reason, winemaking has always been of mystical and spiritual importance. So much so that it is a tradition to make a toast before every stage in the winemaking process.
Further expanding on that mysticism, Georgians believe that Qvevri, the clay vessels used to store and ferment wine, are shaped like a mother’s womb as a symbolic reference that wine is made from Mother Earth and buried in Mother Earth. In just the same way that a mother’s womb provides the necessary conditions to nurture a child until birth, a Qvevri provides a unique environment to nurture wine until it is ready to be presented to the world. To say that Qvevri plays an important part in this process would be an understatement.
Once the grapes are crushed, the juice is placed along with the skins inside the Qvevri to start their initial fermentation process. During this crucial time, the winemaker stirs the wine with a special wooden stick every three hours to prevent a crust of skins forming at the top of the juice. Depending on the type of wine, skins stay during fermentation for a period of three to six months. After that, the wine is separated from the skins and transferred to another Qvevri to continue the aging process. This transfer may occur three to four times during the entire aging period to separate it from other residues.
Every winemaker imbues his wine with his own mood and character, which according to tradition is imparted during the interplay between Mother Earth and the aging time in Qvevri. In this sense, wine is thought of as a medium between the spiritual and the material world.
Just like our ancestors believed, we consider wine to have memory. Our wines represent the best interpretation of this winemaking spirit and are made with the utmost adherence to this uniquely Georgian tradition. We are making our wines with utmost professionalism, happiness and joy.We believe this to be the only way to make excellent Kapistoni wines.
Enjoy our Kapistoni wines and experience 8000 years of winemaking tradition!