The New Ancient Anfora

I found myself in Sonoma County last week where I finally got to see one of the so-called ‘egg fermenters’ firsthand. Cast from concrete and inspired by the clay anfora vessels used in ancient winemaking practices (and most famously these days by Josko Gravner), the purpose of the egg is to maintain a steady temperature during fermentation. Concrete is also slightly permeable, so unlike, say, stainless steel, it allows for subtle interaction with oxygen. They also just look cool.

The fermenters below were made by Nomblot, a company located not far from Beaune. For readers of French, here are some tech specs. It seems the folks at Nomblot employ the golden ratio to design their egg. Nifty!

concrete egg 1.JPG

I kind of expected Robin Williams to pop out of the top in an orange jumpsuit. Didn’t happen.

concrete egg 2.JPG

7 thoughts on “The New Ancient Anfora

  1. Thanks for the comments!

    It does sort of look like either Fat Man or Little Boy, although I’m still fixated on the Mork & Mindy thing. But that’s my childhood in TV Land speaking.

    As for better terroir expression, well, the folks who are using the eggs are quite excited by the results, so there’s that for what it’s worth. It does mean that there’s less technology – ie, no direct temperature control in the form of cooling jackets, so if that enables better terroir expression, then perhaps that’s the appeal?

  2. True, true, cement is cool and steady, so to speak. But why the egg? There must be something in the cylindrical aspect of the shape, right? Nanoo. Nanoo.

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