In Mira’s winemaking we place a huge emphasis on craft and care, from the work we do ourselves at the winery to our partners who supply us with the essential materials for each vintage. We also prize innovation and are constantly on the lookout for new and exciting tools that help us in our pursuit of the purest expression of each vineyard block. These two threads have come together with the latest addition to our winery: a wooden, egg-shaped fermenter called Ovum.
Ovum is the world’s first egg-shaped barrel crafted from oak and represents a significant technical achievement for the cooperage industry. Developed by the team at Tonnellerie Taransaud, our primary supplier of French oak barrels, the egg-shaped Ovum barrel has become one of the most exciting and sought-after innovations for world’s most talented winemakers.
Tonnellerie Taransaud has been producing some of the world’s most prized French oak barrels since 1940, though historical records indicate that members of the Taransaud family have worked as coopers since as early as 1672.
They follow a rigorous procedure in selecting, milling, and splitting the staves for their barrels and follows this up with an equal commitment to the art of seasoning the wood and toasting the finished barrels. Dedicated to the future of their art, each year one of Taransaud’s master coopers trains several apprentices to ensure that this ancestral tradition of craft is passed on to future generations.
For many years, producers have embraced egg-shaped fermenters for the natural convection they promote during fermentation and aging, reducing the need for winemaker intervention and allowing a purer expression of the grapes. Initially explored through the use of concrete eggs, it was not until the engineering team at Taransaud turned their attention to the form that anyone ever imagined the shape could be recreated in oak.
Beyond the thrilling potential for winemaking, the Ovum barrel is also an aesthetic achievement. Its hoop-free tightening system, an original design patented by Taransaud, results in a purity of form and expresses the innate perfection of the Golden Ratio, something near and dear to our hearts at Mira.
With only two Ovum barrels produced each year demand vastly exceed supply, but thanks to the longstanding relationship between Mira Winemaker Gustavo A. Gonzalez and Taransaud, Mira has received the first Ovum barrel in the Americas. Mira’s Ovum will go into use during the 2020 harvest and already the winery team is filled with anticipation for all that this mathematical, artistic, and oenological masterpiece will achieve.