By Tika Bujiashvili
On September 2-3, 2017 Georgian wine association organized the fourth International Qvevri Wine Symposium, which was held in Ikalto, Georgia. The Symposium was supported by the Ministry of Agriculture of Georgia, The National Wine Agency, The Association of Georgian Wine and Alaverdi Metropolitan David.
The aim of the symposium were to educate the Georgian public and international community about the ancient traditions and Qvevri winemaking methods, the unique nature of the Qvevri as a vessel for wine, how Qvevris are made and the danger of losing the art and the history of winemaking in Georgia.
Scientists, wine experts, sommeliers, veteran winemaker and other wine sector representatives attended the event. The symposium was a good chance for the participants to share experiences and views on tendencies and challenges in the field of wine.
Within the frame of the Symposium the first Qvevri Wine Competition was held and the winners of the competition were announced at the closing ceremony of the event on September 3 at the Ikalto Monatery Complex.
It is symbolic, that the IV International Qvevri Wine started at Qvevri School-Academy and ended at the Ancient academy of Ikalto, which was the place where Qvevry winemaking with other disciplines was studied and became a part of Georgian culture and traditions.
‘It was an unforgettable day for me- the contest was the most emotional and responsible… I had never been as nervous as during this competition. It was a different feeling-The first Qvevri Wine Competition, it means everything. New step and new history in the history of Qvevri wine. The competition made some people happy, some were heartbroken, but one thing I want to say is that, the presented samples were just good and very good … That’s why it was a difficult contest…’ said Ketevan Jurkhadze, a member of the jury.
The members of the jury were:
Giorgi Samanishvili-Head of National Wine Agency, Georgia
David Chichua- Scientific-Research Centre of Agriculture, Head of Department, Member of Georgian National Committee, Georgia.
Giorgi Dakishvili – Head winemaker at ‘Schuchmann Wines Georgia’, Member of Georgian National Committee, Georgia.
Ketevan Jurkhadze – Founder and Director of the Wine School ‘Kabistoni’. Member of Georgian National Committee, Georgia.
Liza Granik – MW, USA
The first Qvevri Wine Competition bestowed 72 awards: 22 gold, 21 silver and 29 bronze.
The first Symposium was held in Georgia in 2011 in Alaverdy.
In 2013, Georgian traditional way of making wine in Qvevri received the status of non-material cultural heritage monument UNESCO.