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Tanks For Wine

FAQ's about Poly Tanks

Who pioneered polyethylene wine vessels?

American winemaker Dr. John Brewer of Wyldewood Cellars, Kansas USA is the earliest known winemaker to have recognized the potential of permeable polyethylene tanks for wine maturation. Dr. Brewer is a physicist by training and a winemaker by avocation and first started using polyethylene wine maturation tanks in 1996. He continues to use the technique.

The American company Pasco Poly Inc. has manufactured large polyethylene storage vessels for the wine industry since the mid 1980s.
We have also identified a pioneer in Bordeaux, France who has been making high end wines in polyethylene vessels similar to our Stacker series tanks for some 15 years.

Andrew Hickinbotham in Australia pioneered plastic film with engineered permeability for fermentation and the Reckitt and Coleman company patented a vessel for making sherry style wine in the 1970s that recognized the application of polyethylene’s permeability to wine maturation.

All these pioneers were seeking a hygienic environment to make “clean” tasting wines that preserved the flavors of the fruit.
OVinti now offers a range of vessels specifically configured for wine making that are also finding applications in related industries.

How are Flextank Ovinti vessels made?

The bodies of each vessel are made through the process of rotational molding. Briefly however, powdered resin is loaded into a steel or aluminum mold, which is then rotated on two axes as it is heated in an oven. The resin melts and coats the inside of the mold while it 'cooks' in the oven. Following removal from the oven, the mold continues to rotate while it cools and the resin solidifies. As the mold cools, some shrinkage occurs that allows the finished vessel to be removed from the mold. Metal inserts may be molded into the vessel as required to affix accessories, such as valve flanges. OVinti valve flanges require a force in excess of one ton to tear them out of the vessel.

How does oxygen permeate the vessel and get into the wine?

Oxygen enters each OVinti vessel through the vessel walls. Polyethylene is oxygen permeable. Oxygen is driven across the tank wall by the partial pressure differential between the wine and the atmosphere. Upon permeating into the wine the oxygen is used up by the complex chemical changes that occur during maturation.

Can all polyethylene vessels be used for winemaking?

Obtaining the required permeability for winemaking is what makes OVinti vessels unique. There are many vessels/tanks on the market that are made of polyethylene. However, not all vessels made of this material are created equal in the world of winemaking. OVinti vessels have been carefully engineered with special attention given to the selection and blend of the resin that is used, the surface area to volume ratio, wall thickness and configuration of each vessel. It is these details that make OVinti vessels ideal for use in winemaking.

How does the oxygen permeability of Flextank OVinti vessels compare to that of traditional oak barrels?

Flextanks "Maturation weight" vessels are designed to have a similar oxygen permeation rate to that of a typical second year wine barrel, when used at a nominal cellar temperature of approximately 13 degrees Celsius (55 degrees Fahrenheit). Flextank's "Heavyweight" vessels are designed to act like neutral wine barrels. Heavyweight vessels are simply heavier vessels with thicker walls. Oxygen permeation rates are about half that of the maturation vessels and are comparable to "neutral" barrels.

Will Flextank vessels taint my wine?

Modern catalyst technology has produced food grade polyolefins that are extremely stable polymers. Polyethylenes from this group are widely used in the food and beverage industry in manufacturing processes, transport and storage. OVinti products are made from carefully selected quality materials and there have been no reports of taint following their use in thousands of wineries.

Can I use Flextank vessels for making white wine?

Originally designed for red wine maturation, OVinti vessels are increasingly used in the production of white wine. Winemakers have used both the regular maturation weight vessels and "heavyweight" vessels in white wine production. We have tasted an excellent Sauvignon Blanc from Sonoma's Homewood Winery and a "Top 20 Oregon Drop" rated Pinot Blanc from Biggio-Hamina Cellar.

Have any award-winning wines been made with OVinti vessels?

Wines matured/fermented in Flextank OVinti vessels have won Gold at prominent wine shows within the USA, including a Gold Medal at the World Wine Championships. (Stinas Cellars Petite Verdot). Solune's Cabernet Franc took a gold at the 2007 California State Fair and was awarded Best Cabernet Franc from the Sierra Foothills AVA. Old Coach Vineyards Firestorm Red won Gold at the San Diego International Wine Competition.

How are oak flavors added to Flextank OVinti vessels?

Flextank OVinti vessels are an excellent platform for the subtle addition of oak flavors under full winemaker control using quality oak adjunct products.

Are Flextank OVinti vessels environmentally friendly?

Flextank OVinti aims to keep its environmental impact as minimal as possible. In line with that aim, all of our polyethylene vessels are fully recyclable. Similarly, all metal accessories are also fully recyclable. OVinti vessels also clean very easily and require much less water for effective cleaning than similar capacity vessels made from wood or stainless steel.

Where are Flextank OVinti vessels manufactured?

All of our tank products are manufactured in Vancouver, Washington USA. Stainless steel accessories are variously sourced from Italy, Taiwan and the United States.

What do I do if my Flextank OVinti vessel/s are damaged in the delivery process?

All our products are boxed or framed to provide the best possible protection. However, before accepting a delivery, please inspect it carefully for damage. While most freight carriers are careful accidents do happen and products can be damaged in transit, even tough items like Flextank OVinti products. If there is damage, be sure to note it on the delivery document you sign and make a claim with the freight company responsible for delivery. In the case of extreme damage, please refuse to accept the delivery on the grounds of the damage. Please note that if damage is not noted at time of delivery it is extremely difficult to succeed with a later claim. Unfortunately Flextank OVinti & Tanks for Wine, Inc. cannot be responsible for transit damage inflicted by third parties.