Unscrambling the history of the concrete egg
If you’ve scrolled through our product pages you may have stumbled across references to concrete egg ageing. It’s very fashionable at the moment, particularly in Argentina, but it’s far from a new phenomenon. In fact, they pre-date wine barrels, with remains of large concrete eggs dating back to the stone age found in Georgia. Clay grape designs on these earthen vessels gave archaeologists clues as to what they were used for. The wooden barrel offered a much more transportable solution for wine, so it’s easy to understand why their use declined over the years.
In 2001, Michel Chapoutier and French company, Nomblot, produced a modern egg fermenter which is cleverly designed to give a continuous flow to the wine while it ferments and ages. It also provides stable temperature control and good insulation. In terms of the style of wine produced, concrete allows for a little micro-oxygenation, enabling the wine to evolve and develop a really pure expression of the grape and the terroir. Oak barrels, on the other hand, can have quite an influence on the finished style, imparting notes such as cedar and vanilla.
A number of our producers work with concrete eggs so we've picked out a few of our favourites for you to try...