Billy Ray Mangham of Sleeping Dog Pottery, San Marcos Texas, studied Qvevri making with some of the last few artisans in Georgia in 2011. As Director of Production, he has been experimenting and is able to produce up to 50 gallon Qvevri at his shop in San Marcos, with larger to come. His qvevri are lined with beeswax from Walker Honey Farm in Rogers, TX.
Dr. Brent Trela, Director of Research, is investigating wine production in qvevri produced by Billy Ray. Dr. Trela worked previously in the Republic of Georgia studying wine production under the auspices of the World Bank. He also led the UC Davis winemaking certificate program and developed and directed the enology program at Texas Tech University and enology extension services through Texas A&M.
Dir. Tom Vincent lived in the Republic of Georgia for three years, and obtained his winemaking certificate from UC Davis, in part while studying Georgian wine. He maintains contacts with producers there for the team and helped arrange for Billy Ray’s trip.