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WINE FROM THE COUNTRY OF GEORGIA
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Now available in the United States after 8,000 years.
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From the             
Birthplace of Wine
From the        
Birthplace of Wine
Lost Eden is a Saperavi blend, a grape native to Georgia which grew wild in its lush, verdant valleys for thousands of years. Taste Saperavi and you’ll notice the same fragrant, aromatic array found in mulberry, cherry, and blackberry. Distinct for its deep midnight-purple color that glows crimson in direct light, Lost Eden is smooth and silky with layers of black fruit that emerge as the flavor gains structure with age.
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A brief history on Georgian winemaking
A brief history on Georgian winemaking

Wine is the most central and important part of Georgian culture. Anthropologists have traced the origins of winemaking back 8,000 years to a region just northwest of present-day Tbilisi. The land south of the Caucasus mountains is the true home of the first people on earth to conquer the grape.


Winemaking in Georgia is an intimate, nationwide endeavor. It’s a craft infused with history, religion, and mythology, with hints of lore from the fourth century. An old legend tells of how soldiers prepared for battle by weaving a piece of grapevine into the breast of their armor. When they fell in battle, a vine would rise not just from their bodies but also their hearts.


Aspects of the ancient methods, which pre-date written history, are still applied to Georgian winemaking today. We use the same clay pot design and believe wine is better with less human intervention. So we harvest our grapes from arguably the oldest vines on Earth, place them deep underground in giant pots, called qvevris (pronounced kwevr-ees), and let time do its job.


There are 18 distinct wine-producing regions and Georgia is home to over 500 varieties of grape, which is more than anywhere else in the world. The very word “wine” is believed to have spread from the ancient Georgian word “Gvino” which means something that “rises, boils or ferments.” Recently, the qvevri technique itself was given heritage protection status by UNESCO. This is why the French regard Georgia as the “birthplace of wine.”

Wine is the most central and important part of Georgian culture. Anthropologists have traced the origins of winemaking back 8,000 years to a region just northwest of present-day Tbilisi. The land south of the Caucasus mountains is the true home of the first people on earth to conquer the grape.


Winemaking in Georgia is an intimate, nationwide endeavor. It’s a craft infused with history, religion, and mythology, with hints of lore from the fourth century. An old legend tells of how soldiers prepared for battle by weaving a piece of grapevine into the breast of their armor. When they fell in battle, a vine would rise not just from their bodies but also their hearts.


Aspects of the ancient methods, which pre-date written history, are still applied to Georgian winemaking today. We use the same clay pot design and believe wine is better with less human intervention. So we harvest our grapes from arguably the oldest vines on Earth, place them deep underground in giant pots, called qvevris (pronounced kwevr-ees), and let time do its job.


There are 18 distinct wine-producing regions and Georgia is home to over 500 varieties of grape, which is more than anywhere else in the world. The very word “wine” is believed to have spread from the ancient Georgian word “Gvino” which means something that “rises, boils or ferments.” Recently, the qvevri technique itself was given heritage protection status by UNESCO. This is why the French regard Georgia as the “birthplace of wine.”

THE ANCIENT                
TECHNOLOGY         
OF WINEMAKING
THE ANCIENT            
TECHNOLOGY
OF WINEMAKING
Explore the unique Georgian qvevri (Pronounced kwevr-ee)
winemaking technology that goes back over 8,000 years.

ANCIENT QVERVI POTS

8,000 years ago, the Georgian people living in the Caucasus mountains returned home to find grapes they had left in a pot had fermented into wine. Archaeologists discovered wine residue in pots in villages south of Tbilisi—the oldest artifact from 5980 BCE.
5980 BCE

ANCIENT QVERVI POTS

8,000 years ago, the Georgian people living in the Caucasus mountains returned home to find grapes they had left in a pot had fermented into wine. Archaeologists discovered wine residue in pots in villages south of Tbilisi—the oldest artifact from 5980 BCE.

AN INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE

UNESCO and the country of Georgia have put the traditional Georgian method of making wine in qvevris on their lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage. A well-made qvevri can be used to make wine for over a hundred years without losing its flavor—qvevris from the mid-19th century are still being used in making wine today in Georgia. This qvevri was made in 1881.
1881 CE

AN INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE

UNESCO and the country of Georgia have put the traditional Georgian method of making wine in qvevris on their lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage. A well-made qvevri can be used to make wine for over a hundred years without losing its flavor—qvevris from the mid-19th century are still being used in making wine today in Georgia. This qvevri was made in 1881.

MAKING THE QVEVRI

The qvevri is built in a coil method with terra-cotta-red baked clay and water and is as important as its firing method. The clay is selected for its minerality that it imparts on the wine. Only about 100 potters in Georgia are skilled in handmaking the qvevri and are passing on their skills to future generations.
TODAY

MAKING THE QVEVRI

The qvevri is built in a coil method with terra-cotta-red baked clay and water and is as important as its firing method. The clay is selected for its minerality that it imparts on the wine. Only about 100 potters in Georgia are skilled in handmaking the qvevri and are passing on their skills to future generations.

TREATING THE QVEVRI

After the handmade egg-shaped terra cotta pots are fired, they are coated on the inside with beeswax as a natural disinfectant and outside with powdered lime and cement or sand for strength and temperature stability. Qvevris are given an external wire armature to prevent cracking when full of liquid.
STEP 1

TREATING THE QVEVRI

After the handmade egg-shaped terra cotta pots are fired, they are coated on the inside with beeswax as a natural disinfectant and outside with powdered lime and cement or sand for strength and temperature stability. Qvevris are given an external wire armature to prevent cracking when full of liquid.

CHOOSING THE QVEVRI SIZE

Smaller qvevri are made for fermentation, while the larger are used for storage and aging. Georgian qvevris vary in capacity from 2-3 liters to 6,000-8,000 liters, although in ancient times artisans made larger vessels that could hold 10,000-15,000 liters.
STEP 2

CHOOSING THE QVEVRI SIZE

Smaller qvevri are made for fermentation, while the larger are used for storage and aging. Georgian qvevris vary in capacity from 2-3 liters to 6,000-8,000 liters, although in ancient times artisans made larger vessels that could hold 10,000-15,000 liters.

BURYING THE QVEVRI

In a Georgian cellar room, the qvevris are buried in small underground chambers with sand and gravel up to their necks. This allows the passage of air around the pots and absorbs shocks from the ground that could disturb the fermentation process. The lime insulates the qvevri to maintain its naturally higher internal temperature during the fermentation process.
STEP 3

BURYING THE QVEVRI

In a Georgian cellar room, the qvevris are buried in small underground chambers with sand and gravel up to their necks. This allows the passage of air around the pots and absorbs shocks from the ground that could disturb the fermentation process. The lime insulates the qvevri to maintain its naturally higher internal temperature during the fermentation process.

CRUSHING AND FILLING

At harvest time, the Saperavi grapes and skins are picked, gathered up, and crushed into a “must” or grape mash and poured into a clean qvevri pot. Winemakers rely on wild yeasts that live in the grape skins to trigger the first alcohol fermentation.
STEP 4

CRUSHING AND FILLING

At harvest time, the Saperavi grapes and skins are picked, gathered up, and crushed into a “must” or grape mash and poured into a clean qvevri pot. Winemakers rely on wild yeasts that live in the grape skins to trigger the first alcohol fermentation.

FIRST ALCOHOL FERMENTATION

The first alcohol fermentation makes the wine tart by creating malic acids—like the acids found in apples. During this fermentation, the cap—which is the solid mass of the floating skins of the crush—gets pushed back down into the qvevri with a long pole to initiate the second fermentation.
STEP 5

FIRST ALCOHOL FERMENTATION

The first alcohol fermentation makes the wine tart by creating malic acids—like the acids found in apples. During this fermentation, the cap—which is the solid mass of the floating skins of the crush—gets pushed back down into the qvevri with a long pole to initiate the second fermentation.

SECOND MALOLACTIC FERMENTATION

This malolactic fermentation turns the wine's sharp tart malic acids to a softer lactic acid, like the acid found in milk. Winemakers push down the cap 2-4 times a day for about 2-4 weeks.
STEP 6

SECOND MALOLACTIC FERMENTATION

This malolactic fermentation turns the wine's sharp tart malic acids to a softer lactic acid, like the acid found in milk. Winemakers push down the cap 2-4 times a day for about 2-4 weeks.

COOLING AND CLARIFYING

Fermentation finally ends when solids in the liquid drop naturally to the pointy, egg-shaped bottom. The completion of fermentation coincides with the falling of ambient temperatures in the autumn, which clarifies the wine along with the silicon crystals in the qvervi, which act as a catalyst in removing tartrates. This natural process creates clear wines without using any additives.
STEP 7

COOLING AND CLARIFYING

Fermentation finally ends when solids in the liquid drop naturally to the pointy, egg-shaped bottom. The completion of fermentation coincides with the falling of ambient temperatures in the autumn, which clarifies the wine along with the silicon crystals in the qvervi, which act as a catalyst in removing tartrates. This natural process creates clear wines without using any additives.

SKIN EXPOSURE

After fermentation, red wines have the skins and the rest of the solids removed, and the qvevri's top is sealed with beeswax, clay, and stone lids. Some winemakers leave the skins in the qvevri for several months, which imparts phenols, tannins, and flavor to the wine.
STEP 8

SKIN EXPOSURE

After fermentation, red wines have the skins and the rest of the solids removed, and the qvevri's top is sealed with beeswax, clay, and stone lids. Some winemakers leave the skins in the qvevri for several months, which imparts phenols, tannins, and flavor to the wine.

EMPTYING THE QVEVRI

The wines are pumped out of the qvevri and either bottled or moved to a clean qvevri to continue the aging. There are no barrels or vats as seen in modern winemaking.
STEP 9

EMPTYING THE QVEVRI

The wines are pumped out of the qvevri and either bottled or moved to a clean qvevri to continue the aging. There are no barrels or vats as seen in modern winemaking.

MOTHER NATURE

Qvevri winemaking is a symbol of returning to natural methods. While the rest of the world find the process risky and radical, Georgians know that leaving the wine on the skins and "leaving it with the mother," gives their wine nutrients, textural richness, and layers of complexity that other winemaking processes cannot achieve.
STEP 10

MOTHER NATURE

Qvevri winemaking is a symbol of returning to natural methods. While the rest of the world find the process risky and radical, Georgians know that leaving the wine on the skins and "leaving it with the mother," gives their wine nutrients, textural richness, and layers of complexity that other winemaking processes cannot achieve.
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THE LEGENDS FROM EDEN
THE COUNTRY OF GEORGIA’S HISTORY IN PODCASTS
THE LEGENDS FROM EDEN
THE COUNTRY OF GEORGIA’S HISTORY IN PODCASTS
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#lostcameraproject
The first social media page created by an entire country: We left disposable cameras in interesting places all across Georgia. We invited regular people, young and old, to photograph the real Georgia and introduce one of the most beautiful places on earth.