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In Dordogne, “new generation” tanks for the Sigoulès vineyards

Issued on 22/08/2014 by Émilie Delpeyrat on daily French newspaper Sud Ouest.

The grapegrowers of Sigoulès have invested 4 million euros in new tanks for the next vintages.

Philippe Allain, the president of the Sigoulès winery, is feverish waiting for the 2014 vintage but he trusts in the new machineries.



A hug with an important grapegrower, a handshake with a turist from Belgium. In the full warehouse of the Sigoulès winery, Philippe Allain reveals his restless behaviour in this summer season. In less than a month, the cooperative, of which he is the president, will make the opening of the new tanks installation which has cost 4 million euros this year.  

After eight months of uninterrupted works, the site is almost finished. The 24 rotative tanks (horizontal), some of them completely obsolete, have been replaced by 18 stainless steel tanks (vertical). The tanks have been placed outdoor, under a roofing while the old gaz heater have been eliminated in favor of a heat pump.

"Apart from a few doors, still to be installed, all the rest of the installation is ready, the husband of the Bergerac’s deputy, Brigitte Allain, shows. Considering the financial sacrifice requested to our 94 shareholders, we cannot think about losing a vintage."


Testing the new materials

In the sparkling winery, where the tanks surface reflects the image of the men working, the wait is for testing the materials: the new 18 tanks, starting from the 8 new generation ones from Ganimede brand, the winery bought, are fully inspected and the net of pipes, where the must generally pass through, is thoroughly tested with water. “We want to avoid bad surprises during the vintage period, the president explains. To this day, several leaks have been identified and immediately solved. The attention to detail is important”.

The grapegrowers of the Cooperative winery are often inspectors of the final works. They are witnesses of a site that has changed their routine and they are anxious to see the brand new tanks in action. Especially because the 2014 vintage, unlike the 2013 one, is promising.

Despite the several rainy episodes of the last six months, “the vineyard is good”, assure Philippe Allain. The grapegrowers, who don’t wanted to risk for a second time a catastrophic vintage, have been careful in order to prevent the diffusion of the downy mildew on the vine’s leaves. “Today the priority is focused on the aeration of the berries” he continues. We need to defoliate at max to avoid the bothrytis doesn't develop on the berries.


Wines of high quality

If the sun won’t be too changeable, the wine that will come out of the winery the next year should be great. The eight Ganimede tanks, by themselves, represent the promise for a simplified vinification process for better quality reds: “These tanks permit to reduce the external actions of pumping over or plunging, says Philippe Allain. The fermentation gaz inside is able to stir the cap.”

The new technology is represented also by the new floatation tanks for the whites and rosés. “ We will need less filtration perlite”, says the president of the winery that, technologically speaking, is now ready to go.

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