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Exciting qvevri wines – A first in SA from Avondale

Qvevri, pronounced ‘kwe-vree’, are ancient clay vessels, dating back 8,000 years, from Georgia which is widely regarded as the home of modern viticulture. Avondale is the first South African winery to produce wines using this ancient qvevri method and both the red and white are delicious and excitingly different!

Qvevri differ from amphorae in that they are slightly more porous and, because they are buried in the earth, there is steadier micro-oxygenation allowing for subtle differences in the wines. Using vessels sourced from qvevri master Nodari Kapanadze, Avondale uses all the exciting elements of this traditional method including whole-bunch pressing, skin contact and lees ageing.


Avondale Qvevri 2018s


Such is the importance of qvevri winemaking that it has been protected by UNESCO and inscribed as an 'Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity'.

The Avondale Qvevri Chenin Blanc 2018 is shy at first, opening up slowly to cool florals and some honey blossom, leading to a richer, fuller palate with excellent balance and a fresh centre. It’s certainly different in that the palate seems more defined with a slight grip to its long, lingering finish.

Aromatically, the Avondale Qvevri Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre 2018 is more akin to Beaujolais, while the palate immediately differentiates itself with a forward and lively tannin structure. The blend offers wild florals upfront, leading on to a palate full of verve and a fresh, dry and driven finish.

These limited releases are both smart, intriguing and well-worth seeking out.


View all the Qvevri wines


Qvevri buried in the ground

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