Wine materials: concrete

The use of uncoated concrete tanks, and its effects in winemaking and wine refining

Research and development Wine consultancy


The last few years have seen in the cellars of the whole world the return of a material that in the 50s and 60s of the last century was the undisputed king of oenological tanks: concrete.

Today the increasing demand, moved primarily by organic and biodynamic companies (but not only), is to have tanks in “natural” concrete not coated with epoxy resins, capable of enhancing the quality of the wines and at the same time resulting in inert against possible cession to wine during winemaking and storage. The choice to prefer the tanks in “natural concrete” over vitrified ones has always been based on personal experience rather than on the result of real scientific research.

From these assumptions, our Research and Development department, in collaboration with the concrete tank manufacturer Nico Velo, has launched a study focused on the following aspects:

– evaluation of possible cation transfer in wine by cement subjected to different degrees of surface finishing and different mixing of cementitious compounds;

– the role of the correct internal passivation procedure of the cement tank with tartaric acid solutions;

– evaluation of the differences between passivated “natural concrete”, vitrified concrete and steel tests on the chemical and sensorial evolution of wine.

Below there is the complete technical focus with the article “The new life of concrete” published in the number 2 of March of the magazine VVQ Vigne, Vini & Qualità.

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