amphorae

Are amphorae getting a comeback to winemaking?

It has ben a bit weird as I bumped into the topic of maturing wine in the old amphorae quite a few times recently.

First of all, it is close to my heart as I grew up near an ancient Greek city of Khersonessus (its ruins are located in Crimea, Ukraine) and its museum contains some examples of oil and wine amphorae dated back to 7th or 6th centuries BC.

I also have found references to using amphorae in Jamie Goode’s ‘Authentic Wine’ book – he has referred to some Italian (Sicilian) winemakers that are using amphorae to age wines. Amphorae provides an air tight environment in a more natural way, so the organic and sustainable movement can definitely benefit from it.

amphoraeNext occasion was at Celler Clos 93 during my trip to Priorat, the owner told us that they have had an experiment with an old but almost extinct grape variety Garnacha Po – they have had one batch matured in amphorae that was buried under the ground for a year and another batch just in the cellar. He said that the tasting panel agreed that the first batch tasted more fresh and exciting, with quite a bit more fruit and expression to it. It became possible as there was almost no access to oxygen – even though amphorae are a bit porous it does not allow much oxygen to appear inside, but also the fact they buried it under the ground provided an additional edge.

I find it very exciting that they can utilise it for other wines too – cellar’s space is limited anyway, so why not using a method of burying the barrels or tanks (or amphorae in our case) under the ground? No resources are really required (ground should keep more or less the same temperature).

The picture above was taken at Celler Burgos Porta, they make beautiful organic Mas Sinen wines, but also experimenting with wines in amphorae. I am quite excited to try them!

About The Author

Dimitri

Dimitri is passionate about wines, food to go with it, happy & healthy lifestyle, digital marketing, start-ups and entrepreneurship. www.IBlameTheWine.com is about new organic wines in the UK, what to buy or avoid on the retailer shelves; tips on healthy and happy wine lifestyle, but also provides reviews and rankings for organic wines. Get in touch please, I am always on a lookout for new ideas and connections! Cheers.

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