For the next few months the selections for our clubs will be based on concepts that are often mentioned in the write-ups but not explained in depth. My goal is to give you a proper education on grape growing, winemaking and marketing without editorial bias toward a particular topic. This month we will discuss different approaches to the most elemental part of wine making, the actual fermentation. As this is a really big topic, our focus for this month will only examine the types of fermentation vessels used by winemakers. While certainly not the sexiest of topics it is one that is very important to the style of wine being made and one that is debated among winemakers.
When I started selling wine in 1989 one of the first things that visiting winemakers would talk about was their new, stainless steel fermentors. While they are nearly ubiquitous today at wineries, at that time most were still using old wood or concrete fermentors. Those old fermentors were problematic because it was difficult to regulate the temperature of the fermentation and sterilizing them was nearly impossible. The advent of stainless steel eliminated those issues and harkened a new era of fresher and cleaner wines.Download Full Club Write-up