The origins of winemaking can be traced back to Georgia, the little country lying between the Black Sea and the Caucasus Mountains where wine has been made for the past eight thousand years. Their ancient method, still in use today, is to ferment the grapes, along with their stalks, skins and pips, in large, handmade terracotta vessels known as qvevri that are buried in the ground for natural temperature control. The resulting tannins are high in antioxidants, acting as nature’s preservative for the wine.
Spice Route’s qvevri wine has been made in these same containers, hand-crafted in Georgia and carefully shipped across the world. Our winemaker, Charl du Plessis, makes this delicious wine in the same ancient style that he learned in Georgia,using only naturally-present wild yeasts and minimal intervention.
Enjoy this natural expression of the grapes and consume within two days of opening.
Our OBSCURA White Blend comprises organically grown Sauvignon Blanc, Viognier, Sémillon and Petit Manseng cultivars. The grapes were destalked and gently crushed into two Qvevri per variety, with natural fermentation starting spontaneously after three to five days. Fermentation lasted for approximately 14 days, during which time the cap was punched down with a special wooden tool four times a day. Once fermentation was complete, the wine was left on the skins for a further six weeks, still receiving gentle daily punch downs. This maturation on the skins helps in the extraction of tannins and gives the wine its unique characteristics and amber hue. While the Georgians are known to give their white wines as much as six months of skin contact, we opted to take a more conservative approach with our 2020 vintage of OBSCURA. With no additives or adjustments made, the tannins aid in preserving the wine, acting as a natural alternative to SO 2 .
Following four weeks on the skins, the free run juice was separated. With sufficient tannin already present in the wines, no additional pressing of the skins was needed. The Qvevri were then refilled with the wines (now without skins) and aged for a further nine months, during which time the wine naturally clarified with the aid of gravity. Thereafter, the wines were racked off the lees, blended and bottled, unfiltered and unfined.
“True to its style, the wine shows a bright golden colour with an orange tinge in the glass. Notes of sea salt, apricots, sour yellow plums and yellow sorrle flowers on the nose with hints of spice. Stoney minerality and yellow fruit core flavours on the palate. A wine that calls out for tapas and summer small plates.”