Salisbury Vineyards, Santa Barbara County, California
“We love them. We get the micro oxygenation passively. We have no topping off issues. We get great fruit retention.” Winemaker Harold Osborne did a comparative trial on their 2007 Merlot, Flextank versus neutral oak barrels. “We got superior results in the Flextank versus the barrels” On the financial side owner John Salisbury made the decision to go with Flextank. Says John: “Buy 250 oak barrels with a very limited lifespan, or invest in 50 of the 300 gallon stackable Flextank pallet tanks for considerably less. Physical winemaking costs are also much less with Flextanks’ vs barrels because they are handled much less.” he continues... “As we pay for floor space in the winemaking facility by the square foot, the pallet tanks have dramatic ally reduced our rent costs.” Salisbury Vineyards is currently 95% organic. They expect production to triple in the years ahead.
Solune Winery, Grass Valley, California
“We were a little nervous at first. but the customers like our wines so much and consider our winery progressive by our adaptation of new technology” says co-owner and winemaker Jacques Mercier. Jacques, a native of Quebec, is a well known wine judge both regionally and internationally, having judged as far away as Spain, South America, Switzerland and France. Solune`s 2004 Cabernet Franc, matured in Flextank, took a gold medal inthe2007CaliforniaStateFair,theawardforbestofclassCabernetFrancfromtheSierraFoothills. Jacques winemaking direction is now clearly defined: “Once I have a healthy balanced wine, that is the point at which the wine is moved to Flextank and oak adjuncts are also added”
Springhouse Cellars, Hood River, Oregon
Owner and winemaker James Mathieson continues to use oak barrels but has integrated 200 and 300 gallon Flextank units into the winemaking operation for reasons of greatly reduced labor and physical demands, and the continued benefit of micro oxygenation. “Everything is easier” says James. Cold stabilization is performed in the Flextank using cooling plates that have been installed in the Flextank lids. Wines are pressed into the Flextank for the primary and malo lactic fermentations. The wines then go back into the Flextank later for some further micro oxygenation development.
Old Coach Vineyards, Poway, California
Sandy Mubarak, owner and winemaker began operations with a mix of French and American oak barrels and stainless steel tanks. They went on to do extensive research into Flextank as an alternate. The winemakers did a 16 month evaluation trial of their Firestorm red blend in Flextank versus second year French oak barrels. “It was not possible to distinguish between the two versions” Sandy concludes: “With my Flextank`s I have new oak equivalent each year without the potential for contamination from the barrels. The cleaning and labor is so much easier. I do not have to lift the tanks and I can crawl right inside for cleaning” Sandy’s 2007 Firestorm red took the gold medal at the San Diego International Wine Competition.
Sandy explains “I do not use anything but Flextanks now! Ease of handling, economics, imporved sanitation, ease of sampling and testing. To say nothing about the best features- Micro Oxygenation and oak control on my terms are much more in my control. I am as sustainable as possible with good common sense judgement, to maintain wine quality. 100% solar, compost and water conservation to the max, cover crops, natural bioloigicals, organic practices without the regulatory intrusions. In June 2011, we just won another 4 state/national awards, so let the judges be the judge! All in 100% Flextanks!”
Year Varietal Description Medal
2007 Rhone Style Blend “The Firestorm,” South Coast, 100% Estate Bottled Gold
2007 Syrah “Sandy’s Syrah,” South Coast, 100% Estate Bottled, Reserve Silver
2008 Petite Syrah South Coast, Reserve 100% Estate Bottled Silver
2008 Rhone Style Blend “The Firestorm,” South Coast, 100% Estate Bottled Bronze
2008 Syrah “Sandy’s Syrah,” South Coast, 100% Estate Bottled, Reserve Bronze
2008 Syrah “Showdown,” South Coast, Reserve, 100% Estate Bottled Bronze