For about as long as wine has been made in Australia there have been two predominant vessels for fermentation and ageing: oak and stainless steel. But in recent years, influential wineries across the country have been experimenting with concrete.
Concrete has a long history of use in European wineries. It’s used regularly across France—the Rhône Valley, Burgundy and Bandol all are home to concrete wine tanks. Concrete allows for the gradual oxygenation of the wine similar to oak barrels, however it gives a truer taste of the vineyard without oak aromas or sweetness to cover up deficiencies in the fruit.
Concrete produces wines with a fresher, cleaner aromatic profile with excellent mouthfeel and texture. Concrete tanks are therefore considered ideal for vibrant white varieties, especially our Ceres Hill Albarino. The concrete wine tank gives us a slow, cool fermentation that is aided by the absorption of heat from thick walls.
Our concreted tank is a 5000 litre ‘truncated pyramid’ purchased from a 70-year-old Italian producer called Nico Vela. Nico Vela is situated at the foothills of the Italian Dolomites. Nico Velo uses pristine materials such as sand and gravel from the riverbed of the Brenta river and has been making concrete tanks for 70 years proving the quality worldwide. Their concrete tanks are elegant and refined in form, combining technical and aesthetic requirements.
We cannot wait to enjoy our 2021 Ceres Hill Albarino after it has sent it’s time in our new concrete tank!