We saw the beginning of the clay vessel craze back in 2000. That’s when Friulian Josko Gravner was credited with reviving the lost art. But even though the Georgians never stopped, the wine world was clueless that the tradition still was alive if not thriving. You see, in the post Soviet-era 1990s, Georgia was dealing with crime and poverty—a qvevri public relations project was not high on the list of priorities.
Qvevri might have been the original serious fermentation vessel. The Georgians claim it all started 6,000 years ago (give or take one or two millennia) with their clay, citron-shaped containers. Unlike amphora (as called tinaja or dolia or even.. anfora), they were never used for transport and were usually buried in the earth.