Rammed Earth Architecture for constructing a wine cellar – Alexander Distillery’s new step to success

Rammed Earth in Architecture is an unique structural building method of compressing a sandy mixture into a hard sandstone-like material, the analogue of which has never been used in Georgia. This is the way by which Association Rural Development for Future Georgia (RDFG) beneficiary Alexander Distillery’s new wine cellar is being built. Furthermore, the embassy of Germany in Tbilisi is going to use the same methodology to raise a new working building in Tbilisi, too. As a result, Alexander Distillery’s new wine cellar along with the German Embassy in Tbilisi will be the first two constructions in Georgia built with this unique methodology.

On July 31, 2019, Thomas Pioneman, famous Austrian architect, the right hand of Martin Rauch, also the well-known architect from the same country and the re-establisher of the Rammed Earth in Architecture in Europe, has visited RDFG beneficiary Alexander Distillery in the village of Alekseevka, Tetritskaro Municipality, to get acquainted with the construction process of a new cellar. Givi Jakeli, his Georgian colleague, founder of Tera Caucasus and the pioneer in implementing the Rammed Earth Architecture in Georgia hosted the guest and showed him how the construction process of a cellar is being held. In the framework of the meeting, Mr. Pioneman gave advice to his Georgian colleagues and emphasized the importance of the fact that after researching the earth of Alekseevka in laboratory recently, the results showed that it was in compliance with the set norm for using the rammed earth method.

Rammed earth in Architecture is a technique for constructing foundations, floors, and walls using natural raw materials such as earth, chalk, lime, or gravel and the water, which are compressed and dried. It is an ancient method that has been revived recently as a sustainable building material used in a technique of natural building. This method is antibacterial and provides thermal isolation which is significant for such a building as a cellar, it also reduces ecological threats and becomes more and more popular in recent years. After constructing a new cellar with rammed earth, Alexander Distillery will solve lots of problems related to the obstacles in producing the wine at 1200 meters above sea level.

The Rural development project Alexander Distillery produces whisky in Qvevri, also unites production of different varieties of wine, Sharbat (subcontinental drink prepared from fruits or flower petals) and Chacha (a strong spirit like vodka or brandy). The project is being implemented by RDFG in the framework of the EU funded project “Rural Development for Sustainable Growth in Tetritskaro Municipality”.

Nina Kopaleishvili – Communications Officer, RDFG