"Qvevri" back after 12 years, produced in tradition of wine-birthplace Georgia

Back after 12 years, "Qvevri" from Ikeda Town's Tokachi Wine, produced in the Georgian tradition.

Tokachi Wine from eastern Hokkaido’s Ikeda Town started selling “Qvevri” on November 13 in Ikeda Town only. The production style is a traditional method from Georgia of the former Soviet Union, said to be the birthplace of wine. “Qvevri” wine employs an intensive production process, so it is only now being revived after a 12-year suspension. The wine was fermented in ceramic vessels made by the pottery group “Ikigai-Yaki”, a project devoted to keeping elderly residents healthy and active.
Qvevri is a winemaking method in which the grape pulp, skin, and seeds are placed together in a ceramic vessel, which is buried underneath the ground for fermentation. Recently it has been garnering attention as “orange wine” with its distinct orange color achieved by fermenting white wine grapes with the skin on.
Ikeda Town and Georgia forged a bond in the former USSR era of 1984 when Ikeda residents visited Georgia for a wine tour. Ikeda Town’s Tokachi Wine first produced Qvevri in 2000. But since managing Qvevri fermentation is an intensive process, and there is a risk of spoilage, Tokachi Wine stopped selling it after 2008. This current revival is the culmination of the recent orange wine popularity combined with the fact that some other winemakers in Hokkaido have started producing Qvevri as well, prompting Ikeda Town’s Tokachi Wine to respond with, “We are the originator of the Qvevri tradition in Japan, so we want to give it another try,” (Ikeda Town Grape and Wine Research Institute). The wine will be sold only in Ikeda Town and is limited to 400 bottles. One bottle contains 720 ml of wine and costs 3,300 yen.


Tokachi Wine