Rotary Fermentors For Incredible Extraction and Polymerization
When visiting our winery, a unique item you will notice are our two 14 ton rotary fermentors. It’s hard to miss them, as they are quite different in appearance from the usual upright tank fermentors.
The beauty of the rotary tanks is two-fold. Being as they have a longer width than height, they have a much larger surface area for the cap than a standard upright tank. The “cap” is the skin and pulp which rises to the surface during fermentation. The more juice exposed to this cap the better the extraction of both color and flavor.
Moreover, the rotary tank is programmed to slowly rotate on a set schedule gently mixing the cap with the fermenting juice below, thus extracting more color and flavor without pulling excess tannins from the seeds. With the rotary tanks it is also easier to maintain an oxygen-free regimen
A special winemaking advantage of the rotary fermentor is that it can be used to facilitate the polymerization of tannic acid molecules by extended maceration of the skins. This means that small molecules are agglomerated to become large molecules, thus softening the tannic taste.
Dimitri Tchelistcheff, our winemaker, is so happy with the results that he is achieving with his existing rotary tanks on our Cabernet Sauvignon, that he has ordered a new smaller rotary tank for use on our Cabernet Franc and Merlot fermentation. This new 5 ton rotary fermentor will be delivered at the end of May from Velo in Italy so that it will be ready in time for the 1997 Harvest.