October is the month when they begin to crush the grapes and make their great Georgian wine. I documented the red wine-making process I was privy to witness yesterday at Dato’s relative’s house. It was quite interesting, and the red wine is oh so good! The wine is fermented for about a month before it is ready to drink.
Crushing grapes and collecting the juice to be fermented in stone vats.
It’s a tough job but someone has to get in that hole in the ground. I don’t know how he fits down there but he does. Before the grape juice can fill the stone vats, they must be cleaned with hot water.
Obviously, his son got in the hole in the ground a lot easier, and believe it or not, I was able to pitch in and get down there too. I almost couldn’t get my fat gut out of the vat and had a minor panic attack. I got out alright, and it was really cool to be able to help clean it out and get it ready for the wine. They told me I am Georgian now. NICE!
My host family has five stone vats in the ground and produce kilos of the red wine, although I don’t know the precise amount, but I saw many, many massive jugs waiting to be filled in the next few weeks.
In goes the red juice from the grapes…
…and then some dried grapes, and it is covered up for about a month. After four or so weeks, you get your delicious wine.
We celebrate over dinner with some of Dato’s relatives after crushing the grapes. I’ve had some great red wine in my time but this stuff is really good and very unique, some of the best I’ve ever tasted.
A jug for me of the finished product (it might last me awhile, honestly). The wine is strong, but very good with no preservatives added of course, just pure alcohol but no hangover the next day. It’s good for the heart!