First Ovum Oak Fermentation Tank in the Americas Utilized for 2020 Harvest
The Napa Valley’s Mira Winery will make history this fall when they put Chardonnay into the Western Hemisphere’s only wooden egg wine fermentation tank at their new winery in Yountville, CA. This unique vessel called “Ovum” by its creator, French cooperage Tonnellerie Taransaud, joins Mira’s custom designed hand-crafted tank cellar and adds an exciting new facet to Mira’s pure, terroir-driven winemaking.
We are constantly on the lookout for new and innovative tools that help us in our pursuit of the purest expression of each vineyard block… Ovum is not only an exciting winemaking opportunity, it’s also an incredible aesthetic addition to the winery. It’s gorgeous.Mira Winemaker, Gustavo A. Gonzalez
With only two Ovum barrels produced each year demand vastly exceeds supply, but thanks to the longstanding relationship between Gonzalez and Taransaud, Mira has received the first Ovum tank in the Americas.
Ovum will see its first application during the 2020 harvest, fermenting Chardonnay grapes as part of the multi-year conditioning process that will enable Gonzalez to use the wooden egg to maximum effect. Eventually the egg is likely to play a role in producing Mira’s flagship Cabernet Sauvignon Schweizer Vineyard, alongside the winery’s 5-ton French oak fermentation tanks that were imported specifically for the Schweizer Cabernet.
“At Mira we love to talk about what is miraculous in this world – and Napa Valley is home to so many amazing miracles,” says Mira Proprietor Jim “Bear” Dyke. “When you look at this incredible wooden egg, you can instantly appreciate the care and craftsmanship that has gone into it. This profound shape, made from oak with no other support beyond the wood itself, it really is a miracle.”
For many years, producers have embraced egg-shaped fermenters for the natural convection they promote during fermentation and aging, reducing the need for winemaker intervention and allowing a purer expression of the grapes. Initially explored through the use of concrete eggs, it was not until the engineering team at Tonnellerie Taransaud, Mira’s primary supplier of French oak barrels, turned their attention to the form that anyone ever imagined the shape could be recreated in oak.