Friday, April 4, 2014

IWINETC sees world’s first and most comprehensive qvevri museum

03.04.2014. The Georgian Kakheti Wine Trails offer many surprises. Each winery has its own wine customs. Twins Wine Cellars is a sort of living museum of Georgian wine history and qvevri production. From their family’s pre-soviet prosperity to Russian domination poverty and imprisonment, they provide a snapshot of how blessing comes through suffering and perseverance. The twin brothers Gia and Gela Gamtkisulashvilis resurrected their family’s ancestral wine producing cellar that had been confiscated by the Russians and turned into a communal farm for the area. It had been destroyed over time and only the pressing trough and roof beams survived. From ashes they built the largest qvevri cellar in Georgia with 107 actively used qvevri out of many more. Their mission: to make qvevri wines popular internationally. Their wines are currently sold in Georgia, Japan, Germany, Britain, Russia, and China.

Twin Wine Cellars offers twelve hotel rooms, four western styles and eight hostel styles, for visitors. The more modern western style rooms come complete with a qvevri built into the wall with a glass viewing panel, which was developed and patented by the twins. During the harvest and fermentation season guests will be able to watch the wines in their room qvevri. In addition, Twins has developed guest packages that offer harvest participation, local bread making, and Chacha making enjoyed with regional BBQ, spicy grape sauce, and fresh bread.

Innovation and creativity is natural for this family. You cannot miss the fifty-ton qvevri monument standing in front of the winery. In fact, you can go inside of it as though you are inside a qvevri. The door closes, a visual and audio explanation of winemaking in the qvevri begins. We were happily surprised to learn that the twins were in the finishing touches of opening the first qvevri museum. This introduction led us into a museum of the entire world of qvevri winemaking brilliantly depicted with visuals as well as written documentation of the process in English and Georgian. From the all stages of qvevri production to the harvest and winemaking processes, the museum is fascinating, complete and easy to follow.

For more information about qvevri production and the wines of Georgia look for Georgia, Sakartvelo: the Birthplace of Wine by Terry and Kathy Sullivan.

Our tour had the treat of witnessing the opening of the qvevri of Rkatsiteli wine that the Sullivans had made 6 months before with the Twins family. It was like witnessing a birth. Everyone shared the joy and toasted the delicious result. Twins invites the public to come and make their own wine.


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