In the cellar of “Trofeo Estate” where the terracotta wine jars made in the workshop of Artenova “breathe”
2016/01/20 artenova / australia / australian winery / bio-dynamic properties / calcium / calcium content / cellar / impruneta / Impruneta jars / terracotta and wine / trofeo estate / water / wine / wine jars / winery
The fact that among the many properties of Impruneta terracotta is the ability to regulate the water content of wine has up till now been fairly unknown. A brief mention was made during the last 2014 edition of “Terracotta and Wine” but in the first newsletter of 2016, Artenova asked Jim Manolios owner of Trofeo Estate from Dromana, Australia, to shed more light on the subject.
There are 90 terracotta amphorae made by Artenova in his wine cellar in Dromana, where, as well as their other well known bio-dynamic properties, the Impruneta jars are also used as a tool to adjust the humidity of the wine. If the environment outside the jars is dry, the water content of the wine evaporates, if outside it is humid, the water remains in the wine. This phenomenon is possible thanks to the calcium content of the terracotta from Impruneta which is quite unique and is one of the reasons why it is said that these wine jars “breathe “.
As is explained in the interview, the terracotta of Impruneta acts as “a membrane containing calcium ions which carry water from the inside to the outside of the jars or vice versa. The humidity and temperature of the surrounding environment can cause a significant vacuum resulting from evaporation, but unlike wooden barrels, with terracotta it is only water that is lost. “This is when the winemaker can use the properties of the terracotta to concentrate the wine during aging, making the amphorae a veritable tool in order to improve maturation and enhance the subtle characteristics of the wine.
Read more in the 2016 January Newsletter.