Pumping Over

Appears in
Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Winemaking operation involving the circulation of fermenting red wine through the cap created by the grape skins and other solids. The French term is remontage. This can be carried out with or without aeration, depending on the fermentation rate and the reducing conditions. It prevents drying out of the cap and encourages the extraction of the skins’ valuable colouring matter and tannins into the wine. It may be done either in a closed or open-top vat, between one and three times a day depending on the temperature and rate of fermentation. The mechanical systems involved include some adaptation of the autovinification system, rotofermenters, and tanks which incorporate automatic punching down. However, automation cannot replace the winemaker’s decisions about the volume of fermenting wine that needs to be pumped over each day to get the right level of extraction. See also délestage, submerged cap, and maceration.