The very first wine was most likely stored in bladders or bags made from animal skins but of course there has been no discovered evidence of this. The romans discovered glass blowing but every bottle was a slightly different shape so it was difficult to have consistancy for trade due to the varience in volume. Consistency in size between 700 - 800mls became standardized throughout Europe in the 1800’s, changing the way wine was sold, stored and served forever.
The first wine casks required you to remove the bladder from the box, cut the corner off, then pour the wine. Then it was resealed with a special peg. Unfortunately once consumed the bladder could not be blown up and then used as a bath cushion like the wine casks of today. New Zealand is the world leader in the industry for the use of screw caps but use is also starting to increase in popularity in some parts of the USA, Australia and South Africa.
The earliest evidence of wine storage is the Amphora - or clay pot. This was usually a cylindrical flask with a cone end that could stand in sand or on racks. It had two large handles which made it easier for two men to carry by threading to large poles through and hoisting on their shoulders. Today we would imagine that fashioning a clay pot would be an arduous, and time consuming process. However in Roman times during export Amphora were considered too plentiful and cheap to return to their point of origin so were smashed and disposed of in piles. One discovered pile of ancient amphora measures 45 metres high and 1km in circumference.
The stopper would be marked with the contents, vintage, name of owner, source of product etc. It was often the only way to ensure you didn’t end up going home with a jar of olives instead of wine! Other known stoppers were oily rags and wood and resin. However during transportation the wine would splash around and be tainted. Egyptians used cork but this wasn’t to become the norm until centuries later.
Original idea for barrel making came from shipmakers who used to bend wood to make the hulls of boats. Naepolean ordered that acres of oak forests be planted for making ships. But after the industrial age and the use of steel and iron for shipmaking the forests are now predominantly used for barrels.
French oak is argued by most as the superior oak in wine making, better than American and English oak. It is also at least twice the price. The French experts will also match the oak from particular forests with wines in order to produce the best product.
American Oak is believed to have stronger more intense effects on the wine. American Oak is also believed to impart more vanillin flavours due to the grain that the wood is split along. White wines that are transferred into oak barrels have a darker colour and a smooth, silky texture.
It takes approximately 8 man hours to complete a barrel. A barrel has a life expectancy of around 5 years. The charring or toasting of a barrel effects the flavour of the wine that will be aged. Toasting is measured in light, medium and heavy.
Barrels can be restored by shaving the inside of the barrel and retoasting. After a further 5 years all the flavours from the wood have been imparted and it is deemed neutral. It will most likely be then cut in half and used as a planter. Some winemakers will use bags of oak chips to flavour the wine or insert oak staves into steel storage tanks.
The lees is the deposit that is left in the barrel after fermentation is complete. The lees are stirred up periodically, a process known as batonnage. How often the lees are stirred is dependent on the style of wine and the winemaker. Initially about twice a week and then it is reduced to every one or two weeks. After this process the wine is either transferred to another barrel or blended with another wine before being transferred back to tanks.
The equipment used for bottling depends on the size of the winery. Small wineries often use manual bottling machines that fill the bottles one-by-one and then corked using a hand corking machine. Larger producers make use of commercial bottling services with technically impressive equipment. Bottling services will clean the bottles, fill to a preset level, cork, capsule, label and pack in cartons. The downside of the bottling services is that they must be booked in advance which doesn’t allow for a lot of flexibility.
Also called a “stelvin” the screwcap debate has been going on for a almost a decade due to the contanimant found in cork called TCA, or cork-taint. 95% of wine consumed in New Zealand is drunk within just a few hours of purchase, making screw cap a cheap, convenient, easy option.
The main argument, aside from the tradition of cork, is the subject of aging and the corks ability to let the wine breathe. Nobody yet knows how wines under screw cap will react to long periods of aging. For this reason many wineries are still using cork for their premium red wines and screw cap for their whites.
1 litre tetrapaks weigh 40 grams each compared to 500-750 grams for a normal glass bottle. Tetrapak sells over 1.6 billion wine tetrapaks annually. The packaging claims to be 100% airtight with a ring-pull and sealed screw cap (like a carton of juice) making the boxes perfect not only for storing and stocking, but aging as well.
Vinsafe cans also claim quality, stability and longevity (of up to at least 5 years anyway!). Each can contains two standard glasses of wine. Barokes have won a number of awards for their wines and believe that by lowering their carbon footprint they are paving the way for a new generation of wine consumers with a conscience.
Transcript of "Technology Transfer"
Technology Transfer Changes in the materials and containers used to store and transport wine Janine Bevege
Timeline <ul><li>6000BC - Archeologists discover ancient jars made from clay that contained fermented juices. </li></ul><ul><li>79AD - First evidence of barrel. Pliney the Elder noted that Romans stored their wine in wooden containers held together with loops. </li></ul><ul><li>1600’s - New glass making techniques in England allow for wine to be stored properly. </li></ul><ul><li>1600’s - Monk “Dom Perignon” takes giant step from using wooden plugs to cork as a wine closure. </li></ul>
Timeline <ul><li>1965 - Thomas Angove, South Australia, invents the first “Bag-in-Box” wine cask. </li></ul><ul><li>2001- New Zealand begins bottling and exporting wines with metal screw caps. </li></ul>
Amphora <ul><li>Chemical analysis reveals fermented fruit juice. </li></ul><ul><li>Earliest evidence of use in Northern China. </li></ul>
Wine protected from spoilage by… <ul><li>A layer of olive oil… </li></ul><ul><li>And a soft clay stopper. </li></ul><ul><li>Stopper would be marked with contents and other info </li></ul>
Oak Barrels <ul><li>Traced back to the Celts during the Iron age. </li></ul><ul><li>Barrels were lighter and easier to craft than amphora. </li></ul><ul><li>Chance discovery that French oak was the best timber for barrels. </li></ul>
Oak Barrels cont… <ul><li>Oak imparts interesting aromas to the wine. </li></ul><ul><li>Easy for Coopers to work. </li></ul><ul><li>Less susceptible to wood diseases. </li></ul>
American Oak <ul><li>Popular for some time in Spain, Portugal, South Africa and Australia. </li></ul><ul><li>French believe impact on wine is too strong. </li></ul><ul><li>Less expensive and fewer tannins. </li></ul>
Barrel Making… in a nutshell <ul><li>Split wood is passed through bandsaw.. </li></ul><ul><li>Metal ring is used to hold the staves.. </li></ul><ul><li>When circle is complete a third loop is hammered… </li></ul><ul><li>Staves heated to bend.. </li></ul><ul><li>Oak is toasted to different degrees… </li></ul><ul><li>Barrel is tightened… </li></ul>
Then finally… <ul><li>The bung-hole is drilled into the side of the barrel. </li></ul><ul><li>The outside is given its final planing before the bottom and lid are fitted. </li></ul>
Maturation <ul><li>Rule of thumb, the more “structure” a wine has the better it will withstand oak aging. </li></ul><ul><li>Refines tannins in reds and adds tannic elements to whites. </li></ul><ul><li>Batonnage - leaving wine on lees. </li></ul><ul><li>Some wine evaporates - the “Angels Share”. </li></ul>
What the cork are you on about? <ul><li>First recorded use in Egypt. </li></ul><ul><li>First cork factory 1750 in Spain. </li></ul><ul><li>Production boomed in 19th century. Now universal stopper. </li></ul><ul><li>Portugal is leading supplier. </li></ul>
To screw or not to screw? <ul><li>Prevent risk of “Cork Taint” </li></ul><ul><li>NZ leads the industry in capped wine. </li></ul><ul><li>Caps are cheap. </li></ul><ul><li>Maintain freshness. </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce oxidation. </li></ul><ul><li>But…..! </li></ul>
Silencing the Pop! <ul><li>Where’s the romance? </li></ul><ul><li>Where’s the drama? </li></ul><ul><li>Can we really be taken seriously as a wine producing country without cork? </li></ul>
The future…thinking inside the box <ul><li>54% less energy than glass. </li></ul><ul><li>92% less packaging. </li></ul><ul><li>80% less green house gases. </li></ul><ul><li>30-40% less trucks to transport the same amount as bottled wine. </li></ul>
Crack open a cold one? <ul><li>Can is lined to prevent “tinny” taste. </li></ul><ul><li>Light-weight. </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to consume. </li></ul><ul><li>Perfect for Camping/ Boating. </li></ul><ul><li>When you just want one glass of bubbly! </li></ul>
References <ul><li>Domine, A (2004). Wine: 5th Edition Completely Revised . Germany: Konemann </li></ul><ul><li>T, Greg (2009). Wine Storage – The Early Days . Retrieved July 29, 2010, from www.snooth.com </li></ul><ul><li>Nivela, D (2010) Oak Wine Barrels – A Short History. Retrieved July 29, 2010, from www.ezinearticles.com </li></ul><ul><li>The Natural Choice (2010). Retrieved July 29, 2010, from www.corkfacts.com </li></ul><ul><li>Tetrapak(2010). Retrieved August 11, 2010, from www.tetrapak.com </li></ul><ul><li>Barokes (2010). Retrieved August 11, 2010, from www.wineinacan.com </li></ul><ul><li>Pics </li></ul><ul><li>An inside look at barrel business (1985). Retrieved August 10, 2010, from www.goosecross.com </li></ul><ul><li>The Coopers (2010). Retrieved August 10, 2010, from www.arcus.com </li></ul><ul><li>Neeley, Z.(2010) Oak Barrels, French or American?. Retrieved August 11, 2010, from www.trethefenfamilyvineyards.com </li></ul><ul><li>Our name is blog (2010) Retrieved August 11, 2010, from www.funnymail.co.za </li></ul><ul><li>Chua, J (2010) Send in the Cork. Retrievec August 11, 2010 from www.planetgreen.discover.com </li></ul>
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