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Seguin Moreau turns wood into spherical barrels

By Vitisphere November 28, 2018
Seguin Moreau turns wood into spherical barrels
Inspired by late 19th century industry, the GalileOak’s chassis highlights the decorative intentions for the tank.

e may have lost track of the number of photos taken by visitors to the Vinitech show, but Nicolas Mälher-Besse, managing director of Seguin Moreau (Oeneo Group), knows precisely how many pre-orders were placed for GalileOak, a spherical and rotating oak barrel: “There were already three on the stand, despite its price tag of 50,000 euros!” Unveiled on November 20, at the opening of the Vinitech show, the 15-hectolitre* tank appeals as much for its aesthetics as for its technical aspects.

"For white wines, the rotary system puts the lees back into suspension. For red wines, it is suitable for cold pre-fermentation maceration, gentle punching down and rotating de-vatting”, lists Nicolas Mälher-Besse, emphasising that in addition to its use as a winemaking tool, the tank conveys a novel image and also enhances a winery. The unprecedented tank design has been tested on a white wine to ensure it is waterproof and robust. It has yet to be tested on a red wine, and the uneven movements of the pomace. But the Charente cooper is confident in its innovation, which aims to literally turn the fashion for winemaking eggs around.

The most natural shape

With GalileOak, Seguin Moreau has translated the shape and principles of Galileo, a start-up based in Cognac that develops spherical tanks in lightweight concrete, into wood. "We are not poets, but scientists. It is not the egg, but the sphere that has the most natural shape for thermally insulating and promoting the convection of wine," stresses Benoît Verdier, director of oenological development at Seguin Moreau, who co-founded Galileo in his spare time in 2014 in Chile.

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