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Amazing amphora wines - travelling back to the past to make wines of the future

Winemakers are travelling back to the past to make wines of the future, writes Mari Sanaia, who comes from a family of winemakers in Georgia

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Mari Sanaia

Mari Sanaia

Celler

Celler

Mas Coutelou Amphore 2017

Mas Coutelou Amphore 2017

Iago Bitarishvili Chinuri 2017

Iago Bitarishvili Chinuri 2017

Niepoort Voyeur 2018

Niepoort Voyeur 2018

Pheasant's Tears Rkatsiteli 2018

Pheasant's Tears Rkatsiteli 2018

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Mari Sanaia

The current interest in amphora wines might seem like a hot new trend, but the tradition of making wine in amphorae stretches back 8,000 years, providing  modern winemakers with a direct link to winemakers of the past. 

So what is an amphora? The word is derived from Latin, meaning a vessel with two handles, but is generally used to refer to pottery containers used for storing large masses of liquid.

Archaeologists discovered the first evidence of winemaking in Georgia, where grapes were turned into wine by being buried in the ground in clay vessels in winter. Ever since, amphorae have been fundamental to Georgian winemaking and are used in wineries all over the world.