Natte Valleij and the EON EGG

I popped in to visit Alex Milner last week to see his new acquisition. He is testing an EON EGG. I will let Alex explain…

Change can be described in many words modernisation, innovation, advancement and progress the point is change is inevitable. In any industry the main driving forces behind these changes are cost, convenience, environmental issues, efficiency and sometimes even the look. For some sectors these changes are embraced and revered. You’ll always find those that question it and in the wine-industry it’s all too often the case. Modern change in wineries and winemaking is at its highest level ever; removal of alcohol, lowering of pH, removal of Volatile acids (VA) all possible now through machines. So no wonder! There is a return to what was old and honest.

Cement tanks have been used for decades in the wine-industry, less in recent years for many of the reasons listed above. However cement tanks are making a return and that in a rather strange shape; an EGG… The thermal dynamics of cement is unsurpassed, the egg shape playing a huge role in thermal currents within the tank allowing the lees to remain in contact longer, it is breathable like a barrels, but not imparting any oak and if well maintained their lifespan will make any wineries accountant smile.  

Already great success has been shown in our industry with theses tanks, producing some top wines. Like with so many things however they are imported and therefore costly and out of reach of the normal winery.

Welcome to the scene Dougie Atterbury from iKapa Concrete, with a ‘lifetime’ experience in the concrete industry. He put it upon himself to locally manufacture concrete eggs…local is lekker and a whole lot cheaper! With over 12 months of research and development the first few EON tanks where rolled out at the beginning of the year. They were strategically placed with some of our industries more innovative wine-makers to be tested and the results so far are looking and tasting more than promising.

Before I left I got to taste some Cinsault that has been in the EGG for about a month. If the flavours that are popping through now are anything like they will be in 9 months, this is going to be quite something.