Wine History - Racking Siphon

Our wine museum, respectively Hans’s winery, holds many old treasures, wine making- and vineyard tools from past times.

Hans loves using the traditional inherited tools and is currently busy using one of them to rack our wines.

Racking = a winemaking task of removing clear wine from the settled sediment or gross lees in the bottom of a vessel.

Racking is achieved by pumping or siphoning the wine away from the sediment into an empty vessel. The tool Hans is using is about a 100-year-old copper ‘siphon’. The siphon is connected to a glass part (to see when the lees at the bottom of the barrel is coming up to stop), to the valve and then to the hose.

Racking is an important part of the annual cycle of cellar work in the production of most fine wines matured in small barrels. Racking is very labour-intensive and each racking inevitably involves a barrel that needs thorough cleaning. We rack all the barrel from each wine (e.g. several barriques of Pinot Noir) into a stainless tank. All the barrels are painstakingly cleaned from its sediments before the now homogenous wine is siphoned back to the barriques. We only rack the wines ones, soon after fermentation and the subsequent maceration to separate the new wine from the gross lees. From the on the wine matures in the same barrel on its fine lees until bottling.

Racking is not only part of the clarification process; it also provides aeration. For the red wines essential to the formation of pigmented tannins and is beneficial to the sensory properties of the wine.

A typical work Hans does on rainy days or in the evenings…

Hans Herzog Estate Racking SyphonHans Herzog Estate Racking SyphonHans Herzog Estate Barrel

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