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Country of Liquid Sun

Friday, March 20
The wine making technology of Georgia in its traditional form utilizes ancient methods reminiscent of other old world wine making cultures. The use of earthen amphorae placed in the ground for fermentation is a signature feature of Georgian winemaking. While traditional methodology is used widespread for the production of authentic Georgian wines, European methods are also employed, pending on varietals and blends, their respective regions, and the desired quantity of output.

Below, we are offering a fragment from the book – Country of Liquid Sun.

“In Ilia Chavchavadze’s native Kvareli, there are several buildings in his memorial yard which are included in the list of Georgian cultural inheritance: the house where Ilia’s parents lived, built in the 18th century, and the three-storey family castle of the Chavchavadzes dating to the 16th and 17th centuries, which represented a defensive installation, in which Ilia – during Lezghin’s sudden attack, was born at dawn on November 8, 1837.

There is a barn, bakery (tone), water mill and wine cellar in the yard and attached to the house. Traditionally, both princes and peasant had bigger wine cellars than their houses, because a good harvest had to be properly and diligently accommodated.

According to available information, 40 packs (sapalne) of wine used to be squeezed in Ilia’s wine cellar which represents, in fact, a rather large amount. There were about 40 kvevris (terracotta clay pots) of various sizes, two huge presses (satsnakheli) for squeezing Rkatsiteli and Saferavi and other necessary items in the wine cellar.

Ilia Chavchavadze, as a great public figure, knew that traditionally well-developed viticulture and wine making should not lose its primary importance and furthermore, had to occupy leading place in Georgian agriculture. He well understood that both the maintenance of the vineyard and wine making were equally important for noble families as well as for Georgian peasants. Our people have been occupied in viticulture since ancient times. The nature and soil of our country facilitates the growing of grapes.

Chavchavadze, who had an excellent understanding of wine making issues and technology, could predict the perspective of development off the wine industry and the benefits it could bring to the country…”.