Jul. 07, 2017

SUNTORY TOMI NO OKA WINERY "From the Site of Viticulture": Suntory egg white collage made the traditional French way


In the châteaux of France’s Medoc region, it has long been traditional to clarify red wine before bottling with egg white (collage). The protein in egg white bonds easily with the tannins which cause astringency.
The egg protein sinks gradually through the cask-aging wine, attracting tannins meanwhile, and builds up at the bottom of the cask as lees. Some two months later, this process of sedimentation is followed by racking, in which the clarified wine alone is transferred from the cask, leaving the egg white behind and creating a pure red wine.

Suntory Tomi no Oka Winery uses this traditional French method of collage.

First, in order to put the egg white into the aging cask, a small amount of wine is removed, leaving a little empty space at the top of the cask.

The egg white is separated and stirred so as to break it up

The egg white is put into the cask and stirred with the wine. Finally, the small amount of wine removed earlier is replaced, and the egg white collage process for the cask is complete.

Collage serves not only to clarify red wine, but is said also to refine the aroma and render it even more complex, smoothing out the tannins and creating a supple body and a mellow mouthfeel. Several eggs per cask are used for collage, although it doesn’t follow that more is better. The number of eggs ideal for the nature of each wine varies, and we at Tomi no Oka Winery work to give each wine its own ideally suited qualities, keeping in mind the flavors we want to create.

Suntory Tomi no Oka Winery
Tomi(Red) 2012
Suntory Tomi no Oka Winery
Tomi no Oka (Red) 2015

Related Links
Suntory Japanese Wine