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Virginia Cider Made in Georgian Qvevri Served at Supra in Tbilisi

John Wurdeman, tamada at a supra, pours Castle Hill Cider.

John Wurdeman, tamada at a supra, pours Castle Hill Cider.

Buried under the ground not far from a shade tree are several qvevris that were made in the country Georgia. These earthen vessels, for making wine, traveled 6,500 miles for their resting place at Castle Hill Cidery in Keswick, Virginia. Stuart Madany, production manager, was interested in making cider in qvevris. He had first become interested in qvevris because of his architectural interest in healing and how shape and material affects people. In studying these ideas he was introduced to Viktor Schauberger’s intriguing concepts.

Viktor recognized that nature uses egg shapes. The ancients knew about storing food in amphorae that is somewhat egg shaped. Amphorae are similar to qvevris but not the same. Amphorae are earthen vessels used for transport. Stuart read about how wineries were producing wine in egg-shaped earthen vessels buried in the ground, and this reminded him of Viktor’s egg theory.

We brought a couple bottles of the qvevri made cider, Levity, to Georgia and opened them during a Supra at Azarpesha, a restaurant in Tbilisi. The cider was made with Pippin apples. Only the juice was put in qvevris for fermentation and aging. There was no skin contact. The cider was refreshing and had a strong apple taste. Several members of the media really enjoyed the cider and complimented it. Some said it was different than other ciders they had. The Virginia cider was a hit in Georgia.

During the supra, a toast was made to Georgia. That toast was passed to other who also made a toast to Georgia. A part of Georgia, the birthplace of wine, came to America. The Georgians appreciated the gift of cider made in an ancient style and friendships thousands of miles away.


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