Amphorae Aging

Definition - What does Amphorae Aging mean?

Amphorae aging was the method of holding, storing, transporting and aging wine in an amphorae. These were vases made of terracotta. The method dates back as far as the Neolithic Period. It was also the same container used to ferment the wine.

During earlier periods of winemaking history, the containers were cheap to make as clay was found immediately in the soil where grapes were grown.

WineFrog explains Amphorae Aging

In amphorae aging, the terracotta had an advantage; it was slightly breathable, allowing a slow, micro-oxidation of the wine along with necessary evaporation, creating concentrated wines.

It is still of question whether the quality and taste of these wines would suit many people's tastes today. However, in earlier times, having wine accessible was more necessary in order to make water potable, rather than having wine for enjoyment.

Amphorae aging continued for many centuries beyond the Neolithic Period. Remnants of amphora pots have been found in ancient Roman ruins. The terracotta containers were made in the form of vases with a rounded bottom and two handles extending from the shoulder of the vessel to the neck. This design of the bottom half allowed for the deposit of concentrated solids, eliminating the need for modern-day adjuvants and clarification methods.

The largest amphorae found was as tall as 1.5 meters, but the average size measured 18-inches (45-centimeters) in height and was able to hold approximately 39-liters of wine. Larger vessels would have an opening large enough to pass a large scooping tool in order to stir the wine during fermentation and remove the wine.

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