Fermentation Vessel

Appears in
Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

The container in which fermentation, and maceration in the case of red wines, take place can vary enormously in size, material, and design: from a small plastic bucket (in the case of some home winemaking) to an oak barrel (in the case of white wines and a very few red wines undergoing barrel fermentation) to a concrete tank or egg to what is effectively a vast, computerized stainless steel tower (for high-volume everyday wines). Stainless steel has the advantage that both cleaning and temperature control are much easier than for wooden or concrete fermentation vessels and most modern white and rosé wines, and many reds, are fermented in stainless steel tanks.