Remontage - Pumping Over

>> Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Pumping over, fermentation tanks. Chateau Malartic Lagraviere, Pessac Leognan, Graves, Bordeaux, France

This is a new experiment: Below is a slide show that shows different details of pumping over (remontage). The idea is to describe in pictures how pumping over is done. (Thank you to Christian David, L'Expansion, for the idea for this type of "illustrative" slide shows.)

The idea is to make slide shows like this on different subjects, say, pruning, pigeage, fermentation types, soil, ... If you have any suggestions for subjects, please let me know: write a comment or send me a mail.


Winery: pumping over, remontage - Images by Per Karlsson
TIP: You can 'grab' this slide show and embed it on your site. Click the lower-right up-arrow.

THIS IS ONLY A SELECTION OF SAMPLES. Use the image SEARCH function to find more relevant photos.

Winery technology and vinification: Pumping over or remontage

"Pumping over" (called remontage in French) is a technology used in the winery to increase extraction. The winemaker performs it by emptying fermenting must from the bottom of a tank and then pumping it to the top of the tank. A tube is attached to a must pump and the must is sprayed over the top of the must in the same tank. This is done in order to soak the floating "cap" (chapeau). The cap is mostly grape skins that have floated to the top of the must due to the release of carbon dioxide. It is a semi-solid layer that needs to be kept wet.

By doing the pumping over (remontage) the winemaker increases the extraction of tannins and colours from the skins. The pumping over can be done by letting the must flow out into a trough and then pump from there. This gives added oxygenation. Alternatively the tube is attached directly to the tank. The must is then sprayed over the cap manually or with a spraying device.

A similar, but different, vinification technique is "rack and return" (called delestage in French). In that case the liquid part of the must is emptied from the fermentation tank and then pumped back over the solid parts that remained in the tank. This gives an even stronger extraction of anthocyans and polyphenols.

All images © copyright Per Karlsson, BKWine. Images may not be used without our permission.


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Anonymous,  Friday, November 27, 2009 8:34:00 am  

Very cool idea! Please post some more slide shows on winemaking techniques.

Per and Britt Friday, November 27, 2009 8:44:00 am  

Well, if you like it more will be coming!

Anonymous,  Thursday, December 03, 2009 9:18:00 pm  

Another option is to considered replacing wine pump-over (remontage) with the "pneumatage" process instead.

It's by far the the best way to automate your cap management and efficiently aerate the wine must during fermentation to eliminate the formation of hydrogen sulfide and mercaptans.

Best of all, there are no moving parts and no need to sterize or clean the equipment afterwards each pump-over. You can also turn the caps in mulitple tanks at the same time.

Per and Britt Friday, December 04, 2009 12:17:00 pm  

"by far the the best way" perhaps sounds like not an entirely unbiased comment...

"Anonymous" wouldn't happen to be a representative for Pulsair (the company selling the gizmo) by any chance?

It certainly looks like an interesting technology. Do take a look at the video.

But perhaps it oversimplifies some things: "[the system is] fully automated, you just set it and forget it".

One if the issues is that it is not something that can be entirely automated, I'd think. What you want to do is dependent on many different factors.

Many winemakers choose to use remontage, delestage or pigeage in different situations, because they all create different results - or so they say. So they taste, test and try.

This can be another interesting technique, and it would certainly be interesting to speak to some winemakers who have tested it.

But the perfect solution for everything? Hmmm...

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