EGG VATS: Concrete evidence16th May, 2011 by db_staff - This article is over multiple pages: 1 2 3 4
As to the science, the Geisenheim Institute has been leading the field with one experiment to date, which Dr Maximilian Freund calls neither representative nor science, comparing Rheingau Riesling in a 900-litre concrete egg (made by Michlits) and in a 900-litre stainless steel tank.
The experiment concluded that Rheingau Riesling in 2008 was not particularly well suited to concrete, as its pH was too low for unlined concrete, meaning the wine acids corroded the concrete. However, the concrete did not affect the sensory properties of the Riesling.
Freund explains that there are two considerations with egg vats: namely the concrete itself, and the egg shape.
Of the concrete he said that in regions with a higher pH and lower acidity, such as the southern part of Europe where mostly red wines are made, wine is not so corrosive.
On the shape, Freund says the single experiment didn’t “see any difference in fermentation” between stainless steel and the egg vat. He also found no difference in yeast cell numbers and biomass between stainless steel and egg, but did find the length of fermentation in egg was longer, with a little higher residual sugar.
While eggs may be über-trendy and fun to look at, they are not the new wonder-drug of wine. Lapalus draws us back to reality: “I don’t want to create an ‘egg’ wine – it’s too much of a fashion. It’s just a tool, not a magic trick. The important work is in the vineyard, then not to miss or destroy the potential in winemaking. The whole process is important – not only one element.”