Fermenting in eggs
Wine is a fashion business, and fads affect the winemaking side as much as they do the consumer.
‘Eggs’ are the latest thing in fermentation vessels. These are egg-shaped concrete tanks, which supposedly impart special characteristics to wine fermented in them.
Morin is a French-born former Sydney sommelier who operates a barrel importing business (website) in South Australia. He says Provenance (Geelong – tastings) is using the egg for shiraz, Standish/Massena (Barossa Valley – tastings) is using it with grenache, and other users include Krinklewood (tastings) and Oakvale (Hunter Valley – tastings) and Cullen (Margaret River – tastings).
Believers say the eggs give softer wines with more intense fruit, and without the sharp edges that stainless-steel supposedly gives. The eggs are said to give a more consistent, homogeneous fermentation, without any dead-spots in the corners.
Rhone Valley winemaker Michel Chapoutier, any early adopter, is reported to be seeking compensation for others following the trend he claims to have originated.