H&H puts old vats back to work

Madeira producer Henriques & Henriques has put back together several large, 100-year-old, satin wood vats for ageing its young wines.

The 11 large vats, which range between 20,000 to 40,000 litres in size, had been taken apart and left unused for many years before five were remounted and put back into use last year. The other six are likewise now being cleaned and put back together again (see picture left).

Speaking to the drinks business, the winery’s managing director and CEO, Humberto Jardim, said he had “always dreamed of having them back” and that once all 11 were remounted it would increase the winery’s capacity by 350,000 litres – increasingly necessary after the company stopped selling in bulk last year.

Made from Brazilian satin wood, which has a tight grain and imparts a “very soft flavour”, each of the five vats put together last year has been filled with a different wine but Jardim said they were not for any special projects, they were just equipment being put back into use.

‘They are just for ageing,” he said, “I wanted them to be influencing the new wines.”

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