Winery using concrete eggs for fermentation

PATERSON, Wash. -- A new wine trend is hitting eastern Washington, and it has some interesting shapes.

Juan Munoz-Oca says he never imagined doing anything but winemaking. After creating wine in five countries, he found his home in eastern Washington, reports KAPP-TV and KVEW-TV.

Now, he is the head winemaker of one of the largest wineries in the northwest, Columbia Crest. For the last eight years, he has been slowly implementing concrete fermentation, as opposed to in oak.

"You have the same amount of oxygen going through the vessel and allowing textural development but you don't have any aromas that will mask what makes those wines unique," Munoz-Oca said.

There are about 30 concrete eggs, tulips or pyramids at Columbia Crest. Most are imported from France for just a little under $20,000.

"It keeps the purity of the fruit and as winemakers that's all you want to do you want to represent what's unique about the place where you grow your grapes," Munoz-Oca said.

Each shape is specific to different wines, keeping the flavor in the juice.

"If you have a pyramid shaped the skins can actually not float freely so they're always in touch with the wine so you get a passive extraction without you having to move the wine," Munoz-Oca said.

The concrete helps to focus on the fruit and the characteristics created by the vineyard they're grown in.

"It's a trend that I think it's here to stay," Munoz-Oca said.

Right, now twenty percent of their reserve wines are being put in concrete but they are running with the new trend. You will see some of the concrete fermented wines in stores soon.