First Ovum Oak Fermentation Tank in the Americas Utilized for 2020 Harvest
Yountville, CA – The Napa Valley’s Mira Winery will make history this fall when they put Chardonnay into the Western Hemisphere’s only wooden egg wine fermentation tank at their new winery in Yountville, CA. This unique vessel called “Ovum” by its creator, French cooperage Tonnellerie Taransaud, joins Mira’s custom designed hand-crafted tank cellar and adds an exciting new facet to Mira’s pure, terroir-driven winemaking.
“We are constantly on the lookout for new and innovative tools that help us in our pursuit of the purest expression of each vineyard block,” says Mira Winemaker Gustavo A. Gonzalez. “Ovum is not only an exciting winemaking opportunity, it’s also an incredible aesthetic addition to the winery. It’s gorgeous.”
With only two Ovum barrels produced each year demand vastly exceeds supply, but thanks to the longstanding relationship between Gonzalez and Taransaud, Mira has received the first Ovum tank in the Americas.
Ovum will see its first application during the 2020 harvest, fermenting Chardonnay grapes as part of the multi-year conditioning process that will enable Gonzalez to use the wooden egg to maximum effect. Eventually the egg is likely to play a role in producing Mira’s flagship Cabernet Sauvignon Schweizer Vineyard, alongside the winery’s 5-ton French oak fermentation tanks that were imported specifically for the Schweizer Cabernet.
“At Mira we love to talk about what is miraculous in this world – and Napa Valley is home to so many amazing miracles,” says Mira Proprietor Jim “Bear” Dyke. “When you look at this incredible wooden egg, you can instantly appreciate the care and craftsmanship that has gone into it. This profound shape, made from oak with no other support beyond the wood itself, it really is a miracle.”
For many years, producers have embraced egg-shaped fermenters for the natural convection they promote during fermentation and aging, reducing the need for winemaker intervention and allowing a purer expression of the grapes. Initially explored through the use of concrete eggs, it was not until the engineering team at Tonnellerie Taransaud, Mira’s primary supplier of French oak barrels, turned their attention to the form that anyone ever imagined the shape could be recreated in oak.
About Mira Winery
Mira Winery’s mission is quite simple: to produce the best handcrafted, all-natural wines in the world. That’s why each bottle of Mira wine reflects the unique origin of our exceptional grapes. Our family-owned, 16-acre Napa Valley estate was first planted with grape vines in 1885. We’ve carefully studied the terroir and only selected the varietals best suited for our soil. Here, you’ll find small blocks of Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, even the relatively rare Sauvignon Gris. Whether enjoyed immediately upon release or after years in the cellar, our wines are crafted to display an array of evolving flavors.
About Tonnellerie Taransaud
Tonnellerie Taransaud has been producing some of the world’s most prized French oak barrels since 1940, though historical records indicate that members of the Taransaud family have worked as coopers since as early as 1672. Taransaud follows a rigorous procedure in selecting, milling, and splitting the staves for their barrels and follows this up with an equal commitment to the art of seasoning the wood and toasting the finished barrels. Dedicated to the future of their art, each year one of Taransaud’s master coopers trains several apprentices to ensure that this ancestral tradition of craft is passed on to future generations.