American and British qvevri enthusiasts examined the China-manufactured jars whether they could affect the quality of wine produced. It turned out that in order to reduce mailing costs, Chinese manufacturers were minimizing the weight of their products. Experts have found that in some cases the jars consisted not of natural clay but of composite materials. "It's almost plastic. We do not know how it will behave in a year's time", said Bysshe Shelley of British Union of Organic Winemaking to a BBC correspondent.
Note that buried qvevris are extremely hard to get back for a replacement, since after immersing in an earthen pit they are strengthened by coating with a thick layer of cement (10-25 cm) or lime mixed with fragments of sandstone and gravel. Meanwhile, the safety of wine from "plastic qvevri" produced in the south of Scotland has already attracted attention of UK food safety regulator.
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