Devatting: Also known as délestage, the oxidative winemaking process in which, after the cap of grape musts, skins, seeds and stems forms on the top of a vat of fermenting wine, the wine is drained through a valve at the base of the tank into another vat and reserved while the remaining solids are allowed to drain for a few hours. The reserved wine is then pumped back into the original tank over the top of the drained skins, seeds and stems. Like punch downs and pump overs, the purpose of devatting is to increase the extraction of color, flavor, tannins and aromas from the solids, as well as aerate the fermenting wine.
If you thought all of the winemaking was done with the harvest, you’re wrong. These days we’ve been keeping busy with devatting the tanks. The above quote is a definition of the process taken from Wine Spectator’s Glossary, but if you want to better understand it in real-life, look below.
If you look closely you’ll see that the musts, skins, seeds, and stems are being strained from the wine. Afterwards, the wine is pumped back over these solids so as to improve the fermenting process. It’s an important step to ensuring that the wine is of the highest quality and requires our close attention. The featured image at the top shows Daniele sifting through it, carefully.