Putting Terroir in the Tank, Literally

Concrete tanks, particularly egg-shaped ones, are all the rage for fermenting wine. While concrete on its own isn't as sexy as a coopered wood barrel, what if you could up the sizzle by adding one additional ingredient to the tank: terroir? Wine Spectator details a California winery, inspired by Bordeaux's Château Pontet-Canet, that's literally "putting the terroir in the tank" by adding finely ground vineyard soil to the mix that will eventually become a concrete vessel for fermenting wine. Justin Smith, of Saxum Vineyards, explains that his idea is more of a conceptual one rather than that of a terroir transfer from tank to juice. Will it make the wine taste better? Smith isn't sure. "But is it cool as hell?", he asks. "Damn straight it is!”

Dozens of other California wineries are using concrete tanks. Here are a few mentioned in the Wine Spectator's post:


Linne Calodo

Cliff Lede


Wind Gap