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Monday, 30 November 2009

Decanting and clarifying (fining)

Yesterday (Sunday 29th November 2009) we decanted and clarified the white wine.


The idea is to move the wine from one tank to another so as to separate the wine from the lees or sediment ('gunge') that has settled on the bottom.

The wine is being pumped from the tank on the right, through the hose, through the pump and into the tank on the left.
It's quite an easy operation to do. We have this small pump that is driven by a common household drill, and is capable (surprisingly) of moving thousands of liters per hour!

Drill and pump

Clarifying (fining)

We also clarified the wine using organic egg-whites. We used 2 egg-whites per 100 liters of wine to be clarified. This is done to remove all the tiny suspended particles ('bits') that are too light to drop to the bottom by gravity. Egg-white has the property of making these tiny particles stick together, so they become heavier and drop to the bottom in about 10 days or so.


  1. I think a lot of people are surprised to first hear that fining is done with egg-whites. In Bordeaux, this process gave way to the creation of the Cannele in Bordeaux as a way to use the egg yolks. What do you guys end up doing with your yolks? Anything cool?


  2. Yes, people are generally surprised when they find out. I think it's one of the oldest, most traditional methods of fining. Nowadays, there are other substances (like bentonite clay, for example) that can be used, some permitted by organic and vegetarian organizations, some not.

    In Spain, in the wine making regions, the egg yolks used to be made into little pastries, or sweet desserts (called 'yemas'). Interesting! I must investigate further!

    We ourselves don't really go through a lot of eggs as our production is so small (maybe a few dozen). We just take them home and use them up in the kitchen!


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