Kvevri Women

Georgian wine is the oldest wine in the world. For at least 8000 years it has been produced according to an ancient winemaking technique featuring kvevris. Kvevri are large clay jars used for fermentation, aging and the storage of wine. According to Nina Akhlaouri, in the soviet period, women had predominantly fulfilled technical duties in finance departments and laboratories, the decision-making positions were reserved for men. In the 2000s, the Russian wine embargo and the world-wide emergence of natural wine supported a return to kvevri wine-making techniques.

As part of this kvevri revolution, an increasing number of women started producing and selling their own wine. This photo essay reveals how organic viticulture can be an empowering medium to transform gender inequalities. It documents the daily life of three kvevri women from Imereti and Lechkumi, in western Georgia. It depicts the ways winemaking can be a means to achieve independence and to be recognized as legitimate meghvine in a professional environment marked by strong gender inequalities.

Thanks to the support of the Georgian Association of Women Winemakers, I photographed the daily life of two meghvine. This is their story.

Physical effort

Tasks requiring great physical effort and mastery of some working tools are otherwise reserved for men. Women's work was often confined to a less physical, often more bureaucratic tasks. The production of small-scale organic wine requires winemakers to invest in all stages of production.


Ongoing project... 

Using Format