Thirteen wine producers and one who produces vinegar in Emilia-Romagna region, since 2013 harvest have begun vinifying some autochthonous white and red vines, mainly the white variety ‘Albana’, in traditional Georgian amphorae (kvevri). They recovered a method which had been used in Italy, too, and in the land of Emilia-Romagna itself, until the time of Romans, but was later replaced by barrels.
Effects on winemaking
Amphora, unlike wood, does not allow transpiration, even if Georgian one is more transpiring than Italian or Spanish terracotta, because it is cooked at a lower temperature, but, in order to prevent any infiltration, it is waxed inside. Another important feature is the absence of supporting pedestal: instead of a base, this amphora is characterized by sharp end. This is an advantage for fermentation, because dregs settle on a narrow bottom and therefore the area of contact with wine is reduced. Sometimes this contact in barrel can bring about bad smells. Traditionally, amphorae are buried in order to keep them upright. This system also allows stabilizing wine temperature.
A long maceration time gives a particular connotation to these wines. During this time, the liquid is in contact with grape skins. It ranges from a minimum of 40-50 days up to a year. The percentage of skins ranges from 20 up to 100%.
Characteristics of these wines
This vinification is especially suitable for white varieties (Albana, Rebola, Malvasia, and Trebbiano). Oxidative wines are obtained, characterized by deep colour, ranging from yellow to orange, and notes of intact fruit despite the oxidation. These wines go well with structured courses prepared with white meat and such fish rich in omega 3 as mackerel.
2015 harvest will be available in bottle from June-July. Both mixed boxes with 6 bottles and bottles proposed by individual producers will be available. In order to request them and for further information about the project, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. With 2015 harvest, the number of producers involved in this project will increase and other ones will allow an exponential increase of wine produced in Georgian amphorae.