Containers: Modern times

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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For details of containers used for fermentation, see fermentation vessels, which may be either open topped or closed, and may have a capacity as big as 300 hl/7,925 gal. Wines are matured prior to bottling in closed containers (to avoid oxidation), either in tanks made from materials such as stainless steel or concrete, or in some form of cooperage, from small, new barrels to large, old casks, or in amphorae, qvevri, concrete eggs, or clay tinajas, or even glass bonbonnes. Wine may be blended in even larger tanks holding up to 15,000 hl. Wine is transported either in bulk, usually in food-grade 250-hl stainless steel tankers or disposable ‘flexitanks’, or in bottle. When transport containers are used for shipping wine in bottle, care is taken by some fine wine merchants and some fine wine producers that the wine is shipped only in reefers, or temperature-controlled containers, and sometimes only during cooler times of year. This is particularly important for wines which have undergone a minimum of filtration and vital for natural wines. For more details, see transport.