vat

vat is a generic term for any large container used for fermentation or maturation of wine. Oak was the traditional medium, but in the late 19th and early 20th centuries slate and wax-lined concrete vats made their appearance, followed by epoxy resin; mild steel with an enamel coating followed, and, in the second half of the century, stainless steel became the most widely used construction material. In the early years of the 21st century, oak vats started to appear again in New World countries for the fermentation of highest quality wines – not for the purpose of introducing oak flavour, but for a more gentle fermentation process.

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