Qvevri, first non-agricultural product added to Georgian PGI


Posted: June 30, 2021

Qvevri became the first non-agricultural product to be added to the Georgian State Register of Protected Geographical Indications (PGIs).

This IGP legally establishes Georgia as the place of origin of qvevri, and codifies their forms, capacities, raw materials and methods of production.

Georgia’s state register of protected PGIs aligns with the EU classification system. Like the French system, the IGP appellation is similar to a VDP (Vin de Pays) classification.

Now, under the IGP regulations, only raw materials obtained in Georgia should be used for the production of qvevri.

“Georgia is the birthplace of wine of proven archeology, and Georgians have been producing wine in qvevri continuously for 8,000 years. the National Center for Intellectual Property of Georgia.

Qvevri are large clay vessels – often 1,000 liters or more – that are buried up to the neck to keep temperatures constant during fermentation and aging.

In the traditional method, the winemakers ferment the juice and the skins together and contact with the skin turns what would otherwise be white wines into amber wines (also called oranges) with tannins.

Winemakers use qvevri to ferment red grapes as well as white grapes. Qvevri are also used to age and preserve wines.

IGP qvevri is expected to further increase the overall demand for Georgian wine, increase its value and facilitate the global promotion of Georgian wine, said Levan Davitashvili, Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture.

“With the growing popularity of amber and natural wines, the demand for qvevri wine is increasing in Georgia and internationally.

“For example, over the past five years, exports of qvevri wine to the United States have grown by an average of over 34%. Now we are even seeing wines made in qvevri being made there, as well as in Italy, Slovenia and many other countries, ”he said.

Qvevri are handcrafted by master potters in Georgia. In 2013, the United Nations added qvevri winemaking to UNESCO’s list of documenting humanity Intangible cultural heritage.

Georgian wine exports to the UK continued to increase last year, albeit from a small platform, tripling in volume and exceeding £ 754,000 in value until November 2020.

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