What happens inside the egg?

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the currently prevailing theory holds that the heat of the ferment creates a torus vortex of convection currents (similar to the form of a mushroom cloud) within the egg. This moves the fermenting must or maturing wine around without intervention. Liquid near the surface of the container cools and gently sinks, unimpeded by corners. The liquid in the middle holds its temperature, but is gently pushed upwards. It then comes closer to the container surface, begins to cool and continues the process. The lack of corners in the container mean there are no “dead areas” and so homogeneity within the wine

Concrete egg

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if you love the winemaking traditions of the Caucasus, you might argue that the egg fermenter never left.

Like most questions when it comes to wine, the answer is most likely to be a matter of taste. So comparing the fermentation methods of different wineries is the best way to determine if the egg is worth the squeeze.

However, the answer to one penetrating question is clear. What came first, the barrel or the egg? Clearly the egg.

An ancient technique, probably adopted first by the people living in today’s Georgia, namely those to whom recent archaeological discoveries attribute the spread of “Vitis Vinifera” throughout continental Europe.

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An ancient technique, probably adopted first by the people living in today’s Georgia, namely those to whom recent archaeological discoveries attribute the spread of “Vitis Vinifera” throughout continental Europe. Several thousand years later, this methodology has been rediscovered and many winemaking realities have launched themselves into this adventure; in fact, this type of container allows micro-oxygenation just like wooden barrels, but unlike the latter, it does not release aromas, allowing the wine to express the varietal characteristics of the grape.

There are many producers who use ceramics, stoneware or other mysterious mixtures for their production of wine jars. I believe that the real Jars or Amphorae, wherever they are made in the world, are those produced in terracotta. The rest are only copies … which, by all means, can work very well, but have little to do with the ancient tradition and the charm of the authentic terracotta vessels. Even the results are quite different, in fact terracotta “breathes” while jars made from ceramics, stoneware or similar, are closer to concrete or steel. Today, terracotta amphorae producers are springing up in America, France, China, etc. I think it’s great that a material like terracotta, which seemed destined to almost disappear has become a protagonist once more!

Five questions for…Leonardo Parisi, producer of terracotta amphorae for wine

Oregon made qvevri

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Andrew and Annedria Beckham are the owners of Beckham Estate Vineyards in Sherwood, Oregon, where Andrew is the winemaker. Unique to Beckham Estate Vineyards, Andrew Beckham blends his two passions, wine and art, using Amphorae. Amphorae are terra cotta vessels used as part of an ancient tradition of winemaking in terra cotta vessels, thought to originate in the Republic of Georgia. This is part two of the Beckham oral history interviews. This interview takes place at Union Wine Co. in Tualatin, Oregon where Beckham stores and makes his wine. In this interview, Beckham tells about his experiences using Amphorae. To access more material in this collection, please visit Digital Commons at http://digitalcommons.linfield.edu/ow…. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BB1MW2kB3a4

A Comparison of In-Amphorae ( Qvevri ) Winemaking to Barrels/Barriques in Chardonnay Wine

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Selected Results

Chemical analysis of the Chardonnay grapes at harvest resulted in the following values: 21.9oBrix sugar content, 7.60g/L titratable acidity, 2.25g/L malic acid, and 3.17 pH.
Only the dry extract and volatile acidity were statistically significantly different between the different wines (though there were some value differences that didn’t quite make it to statistical significance).
The researchers confirmed the higher dry extract in amphorae wines was due to the pomace cap maceration process.
The amphorae wines showed higher volatile acidity, straw color, and perception of tannin compared to the barrel and barrique wines.
Barrel and barrique wines showed higher vanilla flavor than amphorae wines.
Amphorae wines showed lower titratable acidity than the barrel or barrique wines (not statistically significant).
Volatile acidity was higher in barrique wines than barrel wines.
Malolactic fermentation was complete much faster in amphorae wines than barrel or barrique wines.
This again, according to the researchers, might be explained by the pomace cap, since there might have been wild lactic acid bacteria present, thus helping the process along faster than without the extra bacteria.
Lactic acid levels were more or less similar between the three wines at the end of the winemaking process.
Sensory analysis revealed:
Amphorae wines had a “mature scent”, fewer green characteristics, and fewer Chardonnay varietal characteristics. Tannins were “elegant” and the wine had a “pleasing taste” (higher than the barrel or barrique wines). A spicy scent was noted, as well as a lack of vanilla character.
Barrique wines had a lot of vanilla tones, and exhibited strong Chardonnay varietal characteristics. Characteristics noted were “fresh, harmony, and a remarkable woody flavor”. The panelists made a note to possibly blend this wine with the other wines to take the woody/oak characteristics down a notch.
Barrel wines possessed the most Chardonnay varietal characteristics, and were considered to be the most balanced with spice, light oak, and vanilla character in addition to the fruit character. Panelists noted it was “full, balanced, fruity” and had a “persistent flavor”.

Concrete helps to understand terroirs

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One of his first steps was to replace stainless steel and wood fermentors with large, tulip-shaped concrete vats for all three wines, which are fermented with wild yeasts.

“With two years of aging in barrel,” says Ruini, “I don’t want to add more wood. Concrete is neutral. Steel has a reducing effect on wine—it’s not the best.”

Are natural winemakers in denial about mousiness?

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http://www.themorningclaret.com/2017/are-natural-winemakers-in-denial-about-mousiness/

 

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