Friday, February 3, 2017

The only Concrete Tank Manufacturer to offer "Custom Tanks"

Did you know that Vino Vessel, Inc. is the only Concrete Wine Tank Manufacturer to offer
Custom Tanks? You can design them from shape to size. Put your creative skills to the drawing board. Below are 9 custom tanks hand crafted by Epoch Estates in Paso Robles, Ca.

Contact us today for pre-harvest sale incentives up to 10%. Sale for the month of February only.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Concrete Post Press

Throughout California, low yields defined the 2015 vintage. Vines concentrated ripening energy on a few small clusters each. Intense wines will surely result. Tiny grapes translate to higher skin-to-juice ratio, more tannin.

In short, 2015 presents the opportunity to create blockbuster wines, but to do so, the juice must be handled delicately. With potential for such strength, the wines’ profile might be dominated by robust, simplistic primary fruit flavors. When young, many wines will pack boxy, rough finishes.
In order to adapt, we are trying a new technique in the winery to make sure the wines hit the potential the 2015 vintage presents.
This year, instead of immediately putting red wine into barrels, we allowed the wine to rest in unsealed concrete fermenters for two weeks after pressing. The pores of the concrete and the air exposure allow the wine to oxidize for this brief period.
These two weeks give the wine a chance to unfurl rather than show tightness. With a little bit of air, the naturally reductive Syrahs should be approachable upon release.
This added stage prior to barreling also grants the team a chance to rack the wine, leaving particles that settle to the bottom of the concrete tanks behind. Only finer lees will be left in the wine to settle out over the next 18 months until bottling.
I’m excited to see how our efforts to tame the 2015 monster will pay off in bottle.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

See you at the IQ Conference at Charles Krug Winery - March 4, 2015

We look forward to seeing you at the first Innovation + Quality Conference. (IQ) 2015 is a new forum for ultra-premium wineries focused on cutting-edge innovations that advance wine quality. This day-long event will take place March 4, 2015 at Charles Krug Winery in the Napa Valley. We will be located in booth 227 and will have our award winning vessel "the hippo" on display.
Sessions will be held in the Carriage House and in the newly restored Redwood Cellar Tasting Room and Hospitality Center. A tented area between these two historic buildings will feature product and technology demonstrations and exhibitors showcasing the latest innovations in ultra-premium winemaking, grape growing, packaging and direct-to-consumer sales.

This event is produced by Wine Business Monthly. For tickets and more info please visit:


Thursday, November 6, 2014

It is not often that we have tanks on the floor for sale- ready for IMMEDIATE delivery and set up! However, we have two 560 gallon Cylinders (with legs) $9425! usd plus tax

The Hippo is known for being the most versatile
vessel in our line of concrete tanks!
One 270 gallon HIPPO for sale
$6550! usd plus tax

To have your new tank installed today, please contact

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Concrete revolution happening at Villa San-Juliette Winery

Concrete Wine Tanks

Concrete revolution happening at Villa San-Juliette Winery
Written by Scott Brennan, Paso Robles Daily News

According to Matt Ortman, not all fermenting vessels are created equal. In just his second year as winemaker at Villa San-Juliette Vineyard & Winery, he had already purchased four concrete tanks because he believes that, for some wines, they’re ideal.

“Concrete accentuates a wine’s minerality, which we already have plenty of from our soils,” Ortman said. “It allows for a different texture than stainless steel or neutral oak – a softer acid profile, and, in red wines, fine-grained tannins.”

Villa San-Juliette is home to four concrete tanks: two cube-shaped tanks for red wines and two cone-shaped tanks for whites. Made locally by Vino Vessel, the only company of its kind in the United States, VSJ’s concrete tanks are not unique to the Central Coast, California, or the rest of the winemaking world.

In fact, concrete has been used to ferment wine in the Old World for centuries, and continues to hold wines as legendary as Bordeaux’s Chateau Petrus, year after year. But it wasn’t until Vino Vessel came along that American producers could buy concrete tanks without paying exorbitant overseas shipping rates. Today, concrete tanks are increasingly common in wineries across the state and the nation.
The appeal of concrete as a fermenter is two-fold: the beneficial characteristics imparted to wine when it spends time against unsealed concrete, and the way high thermal mass promotes slow temperature change and stabilization.

“These tanks have really thick walls,” said Ortman, “which means excellent temperature control. The early stage of the ferment takes a long time, and as the yeast builds in population, the strongest ones finish last and the ferment cools, but the heat left in the concrete helps keep the yeast happy. Nothing happens too quickly in concrete, which is good for stabilizing the wine.”

Factors that influence a finished wine include the tank’s shape (Ortman uses cones and cubes) and its porousness. With slight aeration from tiny air sacs in the concrete, wines are able to breathe and soften as they do in oak, without taking on any of an oak barrel’s qualities. And, though these hefty vessels also come with a hefty price tag, concrete is, in fact, more affordable per gallon than new oak barrels as it’s more labor-and space-efficient, and more durable.

In the midst of this year’s harvest, the tanks are holding plenty of Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc and Syrah, but for their first vintage in 2013, Ortman designated VSJ’s new concrete tanks for Albariño, Petite Sirah, Sangiovese, and Petite Verdot, whose tannins, he said, were complemented by concrete fermentation. “There is an appealing chalkiness to the Petite Verdot’s tannins, a wet rock gravely-ness that comes from time in the concrete. Again, it’s taking something already present in the wines – our wines show dry tannins due to weak soils – and refining them to be more fine-grained through the use of concrete.”

The ten-year-old Paso Robles wine producer begins to breathe life into the historic York Mountain

Ten years, seven vintages, and two estate vineyard plantings later, Epoch Estate Wines will take on the 2014 harvest in their new winery atop the historic York Mountain. This much anticipated milestone continues the stewardship of Bill and Liz Armstrong for York Mountain and their Paderewski Vineyard, both located in the west Paso Robles wine country. For the first time in 80 years, fruit from the historic land, first planted by Ignacy Jan Paderewski, will once again make its way to York Mountain for crush.

Located twelve miles from the Pacific Ocean and nestled into the oak-covered hills of York Mountain, the 17,000-square-foot state-of-the-art winery slips seamlessly into its natural landscape. Designed by Lake|Flato Architects of San Antonio, Texas, the winery boasts rustic elegance of times gone by complemented by clean lines of modern architecture. In an effort to preserve the innate, natural beauty of York Mountain, most of the winery is tucked beneath the earth, utilizing a cut-and-cover method. This design allows the winery to blend into the surroundings, and in turn provides the custom barrel room with natural temperature control.

“This is a pretty big moment for us,” says Bill Armstrong. “When setting out on our wine quest in 2004, we did not have our sights set on any particular wine region. We did, however, have our love of Rhône varieties, and being geologists, we understood the importance that terroir plays in the making of world-class wines. Now we are so fortunate, as we have some of the most amazing land in Paso Robles that not only cranks out amazing fruit but also carries so much invaluable California wine history.”

In the 1930s, pianist Ignacy Jan Paderewski harvested his west Paso Robles wine grapes and brought them to York Mountain Winery, where his wine was made. Sitting fallow for nearly 80 years, this land, now appropriately named Paderewski Vineyard, has once again been producing fruit since 2007, under the watchful eye of Epoch Estate Wines. “When we saw these steep and rolling hills in 2004, we knew we had something special in the soils and history of the land,” says Liz Armstrong. “To be the ones to bring this vineyard back to life and to crush this fruit in our new winery atop York Mountain as Paderewski once did is just awesome!”
Epoch-New-Winery         epoch-winery
Outfitted with the essentials that make up a winemaker’s dream, Epoch’s new winery is comprised of multiple outbuildings assembled under one steel-framed roof. This facility was designed with both simplicity and flexibility in mind. “Over the years, we’ve taken the time to study our estate vineyards, so that we could deliberately design a winery to fit our winemaking style,” says Jordan Fiorentini, winemaker at Epoch Estate Wines. A gathering of buildings contains Epoch’s crush pad, fermentation room, production offices, and laboratory, which Fiorentini fondly refers to as “the heart of the winery.”

Upon entering the modern-meets-rustic winery, the crush pad boasts a basket and bladder press. Each sits atop a six-foot, cast-in-place, concrete platform, allowing gravity to be the force once fruit is pressed. Walking through the handcrafted, reclaimed redwood doors, the two-part fermentation room is equipped with an assortment of vessels, including sixteen custom designed concrete and stainless steel tanks.

Weighing in at 14,000 pounds each, ten handcrafted, board-formed concrete tanks rest atop a cast-in-place, concrete ledge within the sleek fermentation room. Designed for function with visual appeal, Fiorentini and local tank manufacturer, Micah Utter of Vino Vessel, created the tanks’ conical shape, both inside and out, which allows greater cap compression for fermenting fruit. Each of the handcrafted tanks is fitted with glycol tubes running through the five-inch thick walls, providing Fiorentini with flexibility for fermenting or aging wines.

Six stainless steel tanks were also specifically designed for Epoch Estate Wines. These tanks give the winemaking team the ability to ferment, age, and to use as blending tanks prior to bottling. So not to obstruct the elegance of the sixteen custom tanks, the winery strategically placed the catwalk and railings behind the vessels and installed a safety harness fall protection system to preserve the beauty of these one-of-a-kind tanks.

The barrel room will be naturally cooled by the mass of earth surrounding the unique cast-in-place, board-formed concrete that makes up the ceiling, walls, and floors. Two oculi skylights are strategically placed to allow the natural daylight to filter into the room. This area is not only a place to store aging wine, it also lends Fiorentini a warming/cooling room to jumpstart wines that may need a little help from a temperature change.

The entire winery has been integrated with night cooling to stay in line with the winery’s sustainable strategies. In addition, a photovoltaic system will provide 95% of the facility’s energy. These deliberate and desired elements continue to give the team the flexibility necessary to continue crafting the Rhône-styled blends, zinfandel, and tempranillo wines for which Epoch is known.

The Armstrongs’ wine epoch officially began in 2004 with the purchase of the Paderewski Vineyard and the founding of Epoch Estate Wines. Their admiration for Paso Robles fruit led to their acquisition of their Catapult Vineyard in 2008, followed by the purchase of the historic York Mountain Winery in 2010. The next phase of restoration has begun with a full reconstruction of the 130-year-old York Mountain Winery into Epoch’s new tasting room. Once complete, the new space will showcase and celebrate the meticulously preserved timber, masonry, and original winemaking equipment found within the historic 130-year-old California winery.

“We are beyond thrilled that we are able to be the stewards of both York Mountain and Paderewski Vineyard,” says Bill Armstrong. “Now it is our turn to add our own twist to these historic lands as the past meets the future atop York Mountain.”

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Heritage Barrels inks sales deal with concrete tank maker Vino Vessel

Heritage Barrels“The value of concrete as a fermentation and storage vessel has been evident for centuries,” said John Schilter, managing partner of Heritage Barrels. “The concrete tanks from Vino Vessel allow us to offer another superior tool to our wine producing clients that complements the wood and stainless steel products they already use.”

NAPA — Napa-based Heritage Barrels, LLC, is representing Paso Robles-based Vino Vessel, Inc.’s complete line of concrete tanks in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, except for San Luis Obispo County.
Heritage Barrels sells high-end oak barrels and vats and said it has seen demand for concrete vessels grow throughout North America.
“We’re already working with some of the top winemakers in the Central Coast, and our partnership with Heritage Barrels allows us to showcase our concrete vessels to an expanded network of winemaking clients throughout North America,” said Micah Utter, president and chief executive officer of Vino Vessel.
Since 2007 Vino Vessel has been making concrete fermentation and storage tanks for red and white wines, ranging in size from 70 to 1,300 gallons. They have been used in production of many top-rated wines, including Booker, Chronic Cellars, Linne Calodo, Peachy Canyon and Stolpman Vineyards.

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