Georgia is on the move. And it’s no longer just the qvevri wines that get attention. In June, Winery Khareba/Lipartiani presented its wines in Paris. We tasted red and white qvevri wines and “regular” wines. These latter ones account for most of the production in the country. However, the traditional method of qvevri, which means that the wines are fermented and aged in buried clay vessels (a type of amphora), is important. “We like wine in Georgia, it belongs to our tradition,” says export manager Alexander Vashalomidze. The Soviet era, however, killed all international contacts. Georgia had to start all over again but is now making a comeback on the world market.
The two largest export countries for now are Russia and China. But Europe is growing. Vladimer Kublashvili, the chief oenologist, says that the company has 1000 hectares all over the country, which means many different types of climates.
More on the vineyard: winery-khareba.com.
Two delicious qvevri favourites from the tasting:
Winery Khareba Krakhuna qvevri 2015 (white): Very dry, refreshing and a bit tannic. Pleasant honey notes, some bitterness in the finish. In qvevri for a month with 30% of the skins.
Winery Khareba Otskhanuri sapere 2012 (red): Intense flavours, very dry, tight and clean fruit, good structure, refreshing acidity. In qvevri for six months.