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Karas that we encountered weren't large in volume, probably between 100 to 200 L, they had a very clear appearance (white clay?) and some had reddish color pattern like Hidasuki (Fire markings) of Bizen from Japan. In the world oldest cellar (6,100 years old) discovered at Areni in Armenia, amphoras for wine making were also found used.

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It's "kvevri", "qvevri" is a spelling error caused by the standard keyboard. Georgian clay jar has several terms including kvevri, churi. (To know more) Advantages of kvevri : Large volume 2-3000L and relatively cheaper than elsewhere despite the deceptive volume / price ratio. Disadvantages : High porosity caused by low cooking temperature (700 to 900°C) and need treatment with beeswax. Too thin walls, especially for large volume, need to be buried to avoid explosion when filling. Risk of an undesirable taste, like corked, by molds through the walls.

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As in Georgia, the Turkish amphora has several different terms including Küp, Tağar (Find out more). The manufacture of küps exists today, but above all, in Turkey, there are still amphorae dating back to the highest antiquity such as Byzantine or Roman. The advantage: Some of them antique are repairable and usable again for winemaking. Disadvantage: Turkey is an officially Muslim country where people don't dare talk about wine ... Damn!

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Pithos is the Greek name of large clay jar for storage, approximately the size of a human, of course, larger or smaller exist . Its likely peculiarity is, often, to have handles like the true meaning of the term « amphora » with 2 handles, however it has 3 and is it because it's bigger? The tradition of manufacturing is hardly maintained except in Creta or Sifnos …

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"Anfora" making, is it artisanal or industrial? This is our question because we have a strong feeling for the specific method of hand forming, although in Italy they often use the mold. In addition, the Italians not only use clay, otherwise, "grès (sandstone)" or reformed clay as well. The advantage: The use of mold allows the manufacturer to produce containers with exactly the same volume as industrial products. Otherwise, with the sandstone or reformed clay, they can better control the porosity.

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Are there good quality clays for pottery in France? A serious question. Was it not because there was no satisfactory quality that the French began to vinify in wood? What we hear is that French amphorae drink a lot (like a hole = heavy “BOOZER”), in other words, they leak a lot, no good porosity. Some potter imports clay from Italy ... In addition, no specific method of hand forming, otherwise, with the mold or the code ...

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Spanish "Tinajas" are, unlike the Italian anforas, very handcrafted especially in Villarrobledo and Catalonia. Potters still work in the traditional way, that is to say, hand forming. However, unfortunately, they are no longer able to make large format tinajas, up to 6-7000 L, which all the villagers have participated in making together. They only make 400 to 500 L today (except some 1000 L from Badajoz). Otherwise, there is always the possibility of recovering old tinajas of 2-3000 or even 4000 L during the dismantling of old houses. Advantage : Best quality/price ratio among of all. Most tinajas are neutral without inner treatment.

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Portuguese have always used "Talhas" to make wine, but in bars or restaurants, especially in Alentejo. They are working tools at the same time purely decorative , people opens tlhas on Saint Martin's day (November 11) to celebrate by drinking the wine of year. Advantage or disadvantage: There are some amphora that the Portuguese call "Talha" but in reality imported from Spain, so, "Tinajas".

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In Japan, most of potters are "Artists" instead of "Craftsmen". (We dislike the term "ceramist" that we find pretentious). Their creations are considered to be fine arts. It says that they are very expensive even though they are in the form of everyday items. Advantage : Very beautiful, certainly, they have one of the best qualities of pottery in the world. Disadvantage : Very expensive. Because of their prices, the Japanese still use the old amphoras from 400 years ago for example, for the production of Shochu (distilled alcohol) or other.

To learn more about amphoras, go to read Udo Hirsch's wonderful text, click here!