Devatting is a little-known step in the vinification process which is nevertheless an essential one.
It consists of clearing the vat of skins, stems, seeds... stuck at the bottom of the tank after having removed the juice issued from the fermentation and maceration phases. The skins are then put into the presses and are pressed again to give what is called press wine. This wine represents around 7 to 8% of all the juice obtained after vinification and gives a very particular "yeast" taste since the yeasts used after fermentation have died and leave their deposit at the bottom of the vat. It can be either quickly blended with the "normal" juice, or vinified separately after the maturing process.
Devatting is hard work as it's done using a pitch fork and shovel (so as not to damage the vat walls). The beginning is fairly easy as the door is at the same level as the skins, but as the level goes down, the pitch fork must be lifted higher and higher for the last shovel loads. It takes about 1 hour, or at best 40 minutes, to devat a 150hl vat. Jeremie and Bruno were really nice and left me a vat to empty. It took me 1 hour and 10 minutes but I'm pretty sure it had more to empty than the others ;-)
Published : 2013-11-15