« End of the line! Everybody off! »
We thought for a moment that we may have reached our final destination. Yet, we did not hear the announcement at the end of our trip, when five years back we arrived in 2011 in Georgia. In the absence of any other information on our sleeper, we hurried off. We were welcomed by what felt like a celebratory polyphony in our ears « mravalijamieri, mravalijamieri, mravalijamieri… »! Has our journey ended here? For real…?
It is true that the road has been long since our exceptional encounter with Montrachet. No longer quite the upper class anymore, we left Burgundy for other destinations in France, in Spain, in Portugal, in Italy, etc… Admittedly, we gravitated more and more towards the East, until we arrived at this hidden gem! A country with an astonishing 525 varieties of good wine; where the « kvevri » (Georgian amphora) originated some 2,700 years ago.
However there were no sudden revelations to greet our presence in Georgia and its remarkable 69,700 km2 of terroir. The true eye-opener encounter was in Turkey during a stopover with Udo Hirsch, wine producer, photographer, archaeologist and a man of all trades in Cappadocia in 2014. Up to that point, we had mixed up the start and finish lines! Our story had just begun, just as the story of wine had, thousands of years back with the amphora. Our intuition has made a come back; we welcome it again and let us go together to search for the truth elsewhere!
We hope that the publication of this book « Journey in Amphora* », which is very dear to us, encourages others to put themselves forward and go on to make « The Wine » in terracotta. It is our most sincere wish.
To conclude our foreword, we would like to thank deeply all our friends who were involved in the making of this fabulous project, and more particularly Udo Hirsch, for his dissertation on earthen pots and Josep Roca for his introduction. We also thank Christine Biloré and Vanessa Thiernesse for their translations, Iago Bitarishvili for his contribution, Woino the publisher and the CEZANNE printing house, especially our friend Roberto de Pila. We would like to dedicate this book to them with love and loyalty above any commercial consideration. For the proof of it, we have written it in French, contrary to neoliberalism.
So now, are you ready to go on a trip? Great, passengers to the gates, arm doors please! Off we go!
Keiko & Maika
*What a beautiful term « Journey in Amphora »! It has been inspired by Agnès Henry-Hocquard from Le Domaine de la Tour du Bon in Brûlat du Castellet in the Var. Thank you Agnès for that beautiful expression that makes us dream of the Mediterranean!
Note: In this book, we shall also introduce some of the conventional producers with their clay pots and hope that one day they may join us in the biconditional world of « Amphora and Natural Wine ».