Despite our busy schedule in support of wineries and vineyards, we have continued working on the small qvevri we brought home from the country of Georgia after our spring visit to Tbilisi for the International Wine Tourism Conference.
We purchased a small qvevri in the hope that we would be able to bring it home safely on the long air flight. We were fortunate as it did not crack even though it was placed in checked baggage.
Over the past few months we took several steps necessary to producing good wine and also preserve the qvevri.
Our first step was to heat the qvevri in our kitchen oven (which we had to adapt) for the qvevri to fit. At the same time we were warming bees wax in a saucepan. Eventually the bees wax became a translucent color. With a simple paintbrush, we painted the inside of the heated qvevri. The honey seals the pores of the clay walls and honey also has some anti-bacterial properties that help to preserve the wine.
The next step was to wrap a thick but bendable wire around the qvevri to help protect it while it is in the ground.
The same with the special mortar mix we used on the outside of the qvevri that will help prevent tree roots and other soil movements from cracking the qvevri. The wire grid made it possible to easily spread the mortar.
This past weekend we inserted the qvevri into the hole just below ground level and packed soil around it. Terry laid a circumference of bricks around the top layer that will eventually be cemented in place with more mortar mix.
Next step is locating a few gallons of wine grapes or juice with the skins.