Iga, Japan



( History ) 8,000 Years and Beyond The Origins of Vintage Sake

8,000 Years and Beyond The Origins of Vintage Sake

The Influence of Wine Maturation Technology Dating Back to 6000 BC on the Modern Era

Wine, the oldest of matured beverages. Georgia is believed to be the birthplace of wine, dating back to 6,000 BC.

It is also home to more than 500 varieties of grape. It is said that grapes growing wild in mountainous regions were discovered fermenting under natural conditions, subsequently leading to the birth of wine.

In Georgia, the process of spontaneous fermentation in large clay pots called "qvevri" has been used in making wine from ancient time right up to the present day, with the technique being registered as an Intangible Cultural Property by UNESCO.

The distinctive feature of winemaking using qvevri is how the lees remaining after the grapes are crushed and pressed are also included into the juice, fermented, and then buried in the ground to mature. In this manner, natural yeast on the rind and other parts of the fruit also undergo spontaneous fermentation, and by burying the fruit underground where temperature changes are minimal, the maturation temperature can be maintained at a certain level.

The fact that a method of winemaking developed in an age when there was no understanding of yeast and controlling temperature using air conditioning was impossible is highly valued and respected even today, and is what makes the maturation process so interesting and profound.