The harvest is upon us at Domaine Gayda with some of the grapes for our Figure Libre range arriving at the winery. Syrah and Grenache Blanc have been delivered from La Livinère and already the rigorous process of hand-grading, sorting and de-stemming has begun. The Grenache Blanc, a grape integral to the blend found in the Figure Libre Freestyle Assemblage Blanc, will now be left in a cold soak for 24-72 hours before grapes are gently pressed and left to naturally ferment in 1 or 2 year old oak barrels.
We have also just received delivery of a concrete fermentation egg. The key reason for the use of a concrete egg, in preferance to the usual oak or stainless steel, is that concrete is flavour neutral, allows for a greater degree of temperature control during the fermentation process and the egg shape facillitates a constant stirring of the lees. The wine that we hope will benefit from this innovative process is the Figure Libre Freestyle Maccabeo, which will allow this underated grape a greater chance to fully express itself and the granite terroir of the St Martin de Fenouillet.
There is a wealth of more detailed information availiable about concrete eggs in winemaking on the internet but we think the most interesting is this piece http://enobytes.com/2012/04/04/cement-egg-fermentors/