Stainless Steel

Appears in
Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

stainless steel, sometimes referred to as inox (from the French acier inoxydable), is widely used for holding wine, both for ageing and, especially, for fermentation. For wines made protectively it has the great advantage over wood that it is easy to clean and oxygen can be completely excluded from it, by the use of inert gas to fill the head space if necessary. It has the advantage over concrete that temperature control is even easier, especially with refrigerated jacketing and cooling/warming coils, and any tartrates can be hosed out rather than having to be chipped off the concrete walls. For some wines, the exclusion of oxygen can be a disadvantage, however, and there is a risk of reduction.