The CRADLE of WINE – GEORGIA QVEVRI WINE Tasting

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I use this wine key: Laguiole en Aubrac Wine Key Ebony
I have used this glass in this Video: RIEDEL Performance Riesling.
I have tasted the following wines in this Video:

2020 Rtvelisi Rkatsiteli Qvevri Kakheti – 20 US$
2019 Jusos Kisi from Kakheti – 30 US$
2019 Georgian Qvevri Crazy Amber Goruli Mtsvane Kartli – 23 US$
2017 Mareli Winery Saperavi Red Wine Kakheti – ?

The 100 Point Scoring System (from www.robertparker.com):
96-100: An extraordinary wine of profound and complex character displaying all the attributes expected of a classic wine of its variety. Wines of this caliber are worth a special effort to find, purchase and consume.
90 – 95: An outstanding wine of exceptional complexity and character. In short, these are terrific wines.
80 – 89: A barely above average to very good wine displaying various degrees of finesse and flavor as well as character with no noticeable flaws.
70 – 79: An average wine with little distinction except that it is soundly made. In essence, a straightforward, innocuous wine.
60 – 69: A below-average wine containing noticeable deficiencies, such as excessive acidity and/or tannin, an absence of flavor or possibly dirty aromas or flavors.
50 – 59: A wine deemed to be unacceptable.

Georgia is happening right now. The wine world is talking about this country that has been producing wine in a very archaic way for millennia. The oldest wine artifacts are pottery jars with traces of wine. They were found in Georgia and the oldest one dates back to 5,980 BC – roughly 8,000 years ago! But that a country has been producing wine for a long time does not necessarily mean, that it produces great wine.

You know, before the Georgian jars were discovered the oldest wine artifacts were found in Iran – not a great wine country today… The long history was only one of the reasons why I wanted to go there. It was also because I wanted to understand their wines better. When someone asks me what my favorite wine is I usually answer that it is constantly changing and most of the time it is my latest discovery. A grape variety, region, or winemaking country that I did not know before.
I thought Georgia might be that, so I jumped on the plane when I got the chance and traveled to the cradle of wine.

Georgia lies between Russia and Turkey, on the border between Europe and Asia and is a beautiful country. It is mountainous and has great forests that harbor bears and the food is delicious. They like to eat fresh vegetables, meat, and fish and I never left a table not feeling like I overate. The climate is diverse. The west is subtropical, humid and moderate in temperature, while the east is dry and continental with hot summers and cool winters. There are 1,600 wineries making wine on 55.000 hectares of vineyards. That is roughly half of the vineyard area in Bordeaux. The vineyards are split up between 10 wine-growing regions. The most important one is Kakheti covering roughly 70 % of the vineyards and producing around 80% of Georgia’s wine.

The one thing that Georgia is the most famous for, however, is its way of producing wine. Not all of their wine but a significant share is made in an archaic way … maybe the same way the wine in those 8,000-year-old jars were made.

They harvest the grapes and then press them with their feet like they do for Port and like I did for my Pinot. The juice, grape skins, and stems are then thrown into a qvevri – the traditional clay amphora – and ferments for around a month. The qvevris are usually in the ground with only the opening visible. This is smart as the temperature is naturally controlled so that the fermenting must not heat up too much.

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