Ceramic Wine Pots

 

 

This-vessel-was-used-to-mix-wine-and-water-and-dates-from-the-second-half-of-the-fourth-century-BCE

  Volute Krater used for mixing wine with water

4th century BCE

 

 Georgian wine pots of antiquity

 

When it comes to wine, I now very little about tasting notes or wide palete, but two things I know is that the ancient Greeks had an amazing array of different vessels for the storage and consumption of wine, and Georgian viticulture goes back 8000 years. Just like the ancient Greeks, Phoenicians and Romans used the clay pithos and amphorae for their wines, the Georgians to this day still use the clay “qvevrie” for wine production. Wine cultivation is deeply entrenched in the Georgian culture, and the traditional qvevrie is used for making, ageing and storage of their wine and part of that process involves burying it beneath the ground for optimal temperature, fermentation and ageing. Almost every single farmer and also a majority of city dwellers in Georgia are wine makers.
The basic technological process consists of pressing grapes in a Satsnakheli (wine press), pouring the grape must and the “chacha” (grape skins, stalks and pips) into a “Qvevri” (the mixture fills around 80-85%), filling, sealing the “Qvevri” and leaving the mixture to age for 5-6 months. The skinless variety is buried in the ground up to 2 years. The egg shaped qvevrie promotes a natural convection of the internal fluids.
Unesco is considering adding the qvevri method to their world heritage list to preserve the craft as their are only a few good qvevrie makers still active. The favoured “Kakhetian” method creates a unique golden coloured wine. One of their favourite wines is the Tsistka, which has apple blossom and wild herbs mixed in during production.

 

Large qvevri wine pot. Georgia

 Huge qvevri coil built wine pot  – Georgia, Europe

Judging by the cart next to the pot, it is maybe 18 feet in height. .

 

 

 

Qvevri pots in monastery floor

The traditional method of wine-making continues to live in the centuries old monasteries.

 

 

 

Qvevri pot cleaning in Georgia

Cleaning qvevri pots

 

 

 

Monastery qvevri wine pots

Qvevri pots at the Georgian Telavi Monastery

 

 

 

kvevri pot in Georgian park

 A discarded pot from a park wino?

 

 

 

Burying a Georgian Qvevri wine pot

 Lowering a qvevri pot into a pit.

Georgia

 

 

 

glexi-qvevri wine tasting

 Qvevri wine connoisseur

 

 

 

Citroen carrying a qvevri pot in Georgia

 Qvevri pot transportation

 

 

 

Qvevri pots in a Georgian vineyard

 Go forth and multiply

 

 

 

Kverkis Old georgian wine pot

A Georgian ancestor  with a giant qvevri

 

 

 

Georgia kvevri pots drying

 Qvevri pots in production

 

 

 

Wine at the monestary - Kakheti,-Georgia

Kakheti, Georgia-  Gremi, the royal citadel and the Church of the Archangels, famous for its qvevri wine.

 

 

Ancient Greek Wine Pots

 

The wines of the ancients were a symbol of fertility, immortality, and divinity and had a reverential regard. Wine consumption wasn’t purely indulged in for ceremony or drunken revelry. Testing of ancient pots has revealed, from residues, the presence of medicinal herbs like myrrh, pine resin, and other substances like honey which contained anti-bacterial or even antiseptic properties.It was a standard practice to coat the inside of a wine amphora with propolis, a resinous sealant made by bees, which also had a medicinal reputation. The mixing of wine with water in a ratio of 1:4 was more then likely for the purpose of making the water safe to consume. There is much evidence of the popularity of volute kraters which were used for this purpose. Both the Egyptians and Chinese developed herbal remedies using wines which acted as solvents to break down and extract the active ingredients and this pharmacopeia was passed down through time to the Hebrews, Greeks and Romans. Initially in the ancient Mediterranean, wine was primarily drunk by the wealthier classes, but by the Roman period, it was cheap enough for it to become a pastime of the masses.

 

 

 

apollo cup white-ground kylix;-Greek,-480-70-BCE

 Apollo cup white ground kylix – Greek

480-70-BCE

 

 

 

Apulian Red Figure Squat Lekythos with Aphrodite and Eros---4th-Century-BC

 Italian Red Figure Squat Lekythos with Aphrodite and Eros

4th CenturyBC

 

 

 

Bacchus Roman God of Wine Dionysus

Dionysus –  Bacchus Roman God of Wine

 

 

 

Black Figured Amphora_(Jar) With a Frieze of Dancing Satyrs and Maenads

 Dancing Satyrs and Maenads on a Black Figured Amphora

Made in Athens between 540 – 510 BC. Attributed to Painter N, and signed by Nikosthenes the potter.

British Museum

 

 

 

 

Ancient Greek Pottery - Rhyton with Dionysus---the god of wine

 Ceremonial rhyton held by Dionysos

 

 

 Greek-Apulian-Red-Figure-Epichysis

Epichysis, or wine vessel,  from the Apulia region of Italy depicting a reclining nude Satyr.

Old Native Arts and Unusual Antiques

A Native Arts & Unusual Antiques Store located in Portland, OR. Est. in 1974, Curated by Arthur W. Erickson – 19th and 20th Century Arts, Artifacts & Antiques.

 

 

earthenware platter with Pomona,-goddess-of-gardens-and-orchards

 

This earthenware platter, influenced by the work of ceramist Bernard Palissy, illustrates the rustic and formal aspects of a French garden with Pomona, goddess of gardens and orchards.

MET

 

 

Blue statue of Bacchante with grapes' - a tribute to Bourdelle by Jean Mayodon

‘Bacchante with grapes’ – a tribute to Bourdelle by Jean Mayodon

 

Cypriote,-Tankard,-1400-1350-BCE,-terracota

Terracotta  tankard  Cypriote

1400-1350 BCE

 

 

 

 

Etruscan terracotta oinochoe-(jug)-in the form of a woman's head,-late-4th-century-BCE-mharrsch-flickr

 Etruscan terracotta oinochoe (jug) in the form of a woman’s head, late 4th century BCE

mharrsch-flickr

 

 

 

Greek, Attic, red figure terracotta kantharos (drinking cup with high-handlesca.-490-480-B.C

 Greek red figure terracotta kantharos (drinking cup with high handlesca )

Attic, 490-480-B.C

 

 

 

 

Greek amphora, National Archaeological Museum of Athens, showing the goddess Athena

Large Greek amphora, , showing the goddess Athena

National Archaeological Museum of Athens

 

 

 

 

GREEK-CANOSAN-VOLUTE-KRATER,-Canosa,-Southern-Italy

 Volute Krater – Canosa, Italy

 

 

 

 

Greek civilization, 7th centuryB.C.-Geometric style pottery.-Oenochoe decorated with figures of goats, fallow deer and ibex.-From Rhodes,-Greece

Geometric style pottery.-Oenochoe decorated with figures of goats, fallow deer and ibex.-From Rhodes, Greece

7th century B.C.

 

 

 

Lucanian Volute Krater by the Creusa Painter-380-370-BC

 Lucanian Volute Krater by the Creusa Painter

380-370BC

 

 

 

 

Wild-Goat-style-pitcher

 Rhodian  oinochoe with wild goats, bulls and geese

Museum Of Fine Arts Boston

 

 

 

 

 Egyptian fresco depicting wine production

 Large Egyptian wall painting of wine production

 

 

 

 

Ancient Greek Pottery Statuette of a Siren

 Ancient Greek Pottery Statuette of a Siren – known for luring drunken sailors.

 

Other wine vessels of interest

 

 

 A toast-to-magnum ceramic wine fermentation vessels

 A toast to the Magnum slip cast ceramic wine fermentation vessel.

Byron Bay, Australia

Inspired by Natural Selection Theory, “Project Egg”, and in deference to the astonishing work of Josko Gravner and the great Georgian tradition of making wines in clay “Qvevri”,

Home

ANCIENT WISDOM CONTEMPORARY CERAMICS For nearly 8000 years Georgians have been using the ceramic win egg (Qvevri) for wine making. These wines are famous for their stability and exceptional taste which is achieved without the use of chemicals or preservatives. In contrast to the scientific approach of Western

 

 

 

 

Magnum wine vessel internal circulation

Internal flow patterns of the Magnum wine vessel

 Constructed with 12mm thick walls. The iconic “egg” shape promotes passive convection within, allowing developing wine to “live and breathe”. The geometric shape is derived from sacred geometry.

 

 

 

 

Amphora-SML-&-Duncan Cape Ponit vineyards

 Huge amphora – Cape Point Vineyards, ZA

 

 

 

Ewer-Greater-Iran,-Nishapur-or-Samarqand-Ewer,-10th-century

Ewer with calligraphy, Iran

10th century

 

 

 

China bronze old man winebibber god statue wine pot-2010

Chinese statue of a wine drinker

 

 

 

 

Cody-Hoyt-Twisted-Jug-Partrick-Parrish-1stdibs

 Contemporary carafe/jug – Cody Hoyt

Patrick Parrish, 1st Dibs

 

 

 

 

Ellison Bay Pottery goblet

Goblet -Ellison Bay Pottery – etsy

 

 

 

 

Ewer with dancing females within arcades-6th-7th-Century-AD-Sasanian,-Iran-The Metropolitan Museum

Ewer with dancing females within arcades

6th-7th Century AD, Sasanian, Iran

The Metropolitan Museum ,NY

 

 

 

 

Floor-Vase-French-1950's-Patrick-Parrish-1stDibs

 1950’s French tripod ceramic wine cooler

Patrick Parrish, 1st Dibs

 

 

 

 

Farsta-Terra-Spirea-Cup-by Wilhelm Kåge-Sam-Kaufman-1stDibs1957

Farsta Terra Spirea Cup by Wilhelm Kåge – 1957

Sam Kaufman-1stDibs

 

 

 

Mark Shapiro,--Wide Oval Flask with Handles

Twin handled Wide Oval Flask – Mark Shapiro

 

 

 

 

Vintage Scandinavian Ceramic Decanter

 Mid Century Scandinavian decanter

 

 

 

Central America, Mayan goblet,-classic-late,-600-900

 Mayan Goblet -600-900AD

 

 

 

Italian ceramic decanter Raymor Fantoni mid_century

 Marcello Fantoni mid century ceramic decanter

 

 

 

Round form pitcher byJavier Sevrin

Large hand painted round decanter – Javier Sevrin, Mexico

http://sanmigueltradingco.com/

 

Calebasse-Tikar---African-artistic-piece-of-container-of-palm-wine

Calebasse palm wine vessel – Tikar, Camaroon

 

 

Blue Iranian wine ewer

Iranian wine ewer 

ACMA

 

1970_fiasca_durantino_7

Majolica Wine Flask  – Bottega di Guido Durantino

(1535)

 

 

 

 

Francesco-Durantino,-Italian,-active-1543-1553

Wine Cistern – Francesco Durantino, Italian,

1543-1553

 

 

 

Italy,-Emilia-Romagna,-Ceretolo,-Oenochoe,-(or-oinochoe,-wine-jug )

Oenochoe (wine jug)  – Emilia Romagna

Ceretolo, Italy

 

 

 

 

Lushan ware suffused glaze porcelain wine pot-Tang-Dynasty

Lushan ware suffused glaze porcelain wine jug – Tang Dynasty

 

 

 

Meditrina-Roman-Goddess-of-Wine-Bronze-Sculpture7

‘Meditrina’ Roman Goddess of Wine Bronze Sculpture

 

 

 

ANTIQUE_SPANISH_FAIENCE_ALCORA_WINE_JAR_PAINTED_WITH_ANIMALS_1819TH_C

Alcora faience wine jar

Spain

 

 

 

White-Ground-Lekythos-muse-on-mountain,-Achillies-painter,-c

White Ground Lekythos, Achillies painter,

c. 440 – 430 BCE, Sicily, Italy

 

 

 

1960s-USSR-Russian-Caucasus-Ceramic-Decanter

 60’s Russian ram decanter

 

 

 

 

Carafe marcello fantoni

Tall Raymor Fantoni Caproni carafe/pitcher

 

 

Vintage-ceramic Bellhop-German-Decanter in red

Vintage Bellhop ceramic decanter, Germany

 

 

RARE-DOULTON-LAMBETH-3-BLUE-GROTESQUE-GARGOYLES-GOLD-GOBLET

Gold  ceramic goblet with three grotesque gargoyles – Royal Dalton

 

 

 

REG-PRESTON-CARAFE

Carafe – Reg Preston

 

 

 

John-Perceval,-goblet,-inci

John Percival goblet

 

The Tao of the Grape

 

Wine, by virtue of its sour taste is ruled by the ‘Wood’ element. The clay vessels are ruled by the Earth element. These two elements are highly compatible. Whereas the wooden barrels are more discordant, as wood on wood clashes. The liver is also ruled by the wood element, which is why it isn’t really harmonious with wine consumption (along with the chemicals in play ) The ancients used sweet, bitter and pungent herbs to temper the sour taste. All factors considered, the traditional organic Georgian wine should be less prone to provoking a hangover. I’m curious to try some organic Georgian brew to put that theory to the test.

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------More Posts

2 Comments

  1. Posted December 7, 2014 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    I really enjoyed reading this article and found it fascinating to learn that the Georgians are still making wine with this ancient tradition and, from what you describe, still making the quvevri – do you have photographs or links to any sites which show how the pots are made, and importantly fired as they are so HUGE! I too, having read this piece, would now like to try the wine.
    Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful knowledge – I also loved seeing all the photos of other ancient wine-related vessels. Makes you think about wine in a whole different way.
    Joanna

  2. Robbie I. Hood robbie
    Posted December 7, 2014 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    I believe the qvevri are coil built, here is a useful link http://blog.lescaves.co.uk/2013/06/27/of-qvevri-and-chinuri-part-2-feats-of-clay/
    Robbie

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared.