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Wine vessels

Receptacles for storing wine and other alcoholic beverages have been around since they were first produced. The Egyptians already knew about glass production and used glass bottles as well as clay jugs. In the ancient world, amphorae made of clay were common in Greece and Rome, which were coated with resin on the inside. The Romans already used the cork as closure. However, vessels made of bronze were also common in antiquity; in 1952 a 1.64-metre-high bronze cauldron was found in the grave of a Burgundian princess, which was used to transport wine from Greece. Various vessels used for storage or drinking were Kantharos, Krater and Oinochoe, among others.

Weingefäße - Amphore, Krater (Crater), Oinochoe, Kantharos

In ancient Greece, there were hardly any wooden barrels known for the storage or transport of wine, but the historian Herodotus (482-425 B.C.) reports of such barrels made of palm wood in the city of Babylon. It is considered fairly certain that the Celts used wooden barrels for transport on a large scale as early as 600 BC, and that the Greeks and Romans then adopted this craft. Julius Caesar (100-44 B.C.) first became acquainted with wooden barrels during his Gallic campaign around 50 B.C. and the Roman author Pliny the Elder (23-79 A.D.) described them as a vessel unknown to his Roman contemporaries. It was around this time that the Romans began to use wooden storage containers, mainly made of fir wood.

In the city of Pompeii, which was destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD, remains of barrel-shaped wooden containers were found. It is likely that wooden barrels were also used extensively for ship transport from the middle of the third century onwards. For from this time on, archaeological finds concerning wine shipments in the form of clay vessels such as amphorae or at least ceramic shards in shipwrecks became increasingly rare. The probably oldest wine bottle in the world with contents is exhibited in the Historical Museum of the Palatinate in Speyer. It dates from the 4th century AD. Until the beginning of the 17th century, however, wine was almost always stored in wooden barrels, which, in addition to a lack of hygiene, could lead to secondary fermentation or spoilage after each opening. Then an enormous improvement in quality was achieved by using glass bottles and corks. Wine now became much more durable, moreover, it developed further in the bottle. Nevertheless, until well into the 20th century, bottling was the exception rather than the rule.

The EU wine market organisation that came into force in 2009 also brought changes to the authorised wine containers. Until then, quality wines could only be sold to consumers in glass bottles, wooden barrels or sintered ceramic containers. In order to increase the competitiveness of the EU member states vis-à-vis third countries, especially from overseas, this provision was deleted without replacement. Quality wine may therefore now be bottled without restriction in a wide variety of containers such as Bag-in-Boxes, KeyKeg or Tetra Pak (carton). The materials used for the various containers for vinification and storage are mainly stainless steel, glass, wood, concrete, granite, ceramic (earthenware) or plastic.

Weingefäße - Barrique, Stückfass, Edelstahltank, Maische-Holztank

Today, the tanks for fermentation are mostly made of stainless steel or concrete and can hold up to 30,000 litres; they are essential for temperature-controlled fermentation. However, wooden barrels are also used (see under barrel fermentation). Tanks made of stainless steel, ceramics or concrete are common for the ageing process, whereas oak barrels are indispensable for a barrique ageing process (see also Wood chips). The blending of cuvées takes place in particularly large stainless steel tanks up to 1.5 million litres. The mass transport is mostly carried out in stainless steel tanks with a volume of 25,000 litres. Glass containers are only available in one size up to about 65 litres, they are used as an alternative for small wooden barrels. Wine containers from antiquity until now:




Volume liters

Eighth (eighth) Drinking glass Austria 0,125
Albeisa Bottle Piedmont Italy 0,75
Amps Vessel Weinviertel (Austria) different
Amphora Transport containers ancient lands different
Ampoule (ampoule) Glass jar Penfolds Australia 0,75
Bag-in-Box Container numerous countries different
Balloon bottle Container numerous countries 2 to 50 and counting.
Barrique barrel Container numerous countries 225
Basquaise Bottle Gascony-France 0,75
Batilla (Batillas) Keg Switzerland - Valais -
Cup (Haferl) Drinking vessel Germany, Austria about 0.25 l
Pitcher Container for cider Germany, France -
Concrete barrel (concrete egg) Tank container all countries different
Boccalino Drinking vessel Ticino-Switzerland 0,25
Bocksbeutel Bottle Germany, Greece 0,75
Bombona Vessel Spain -
Candy Glass Balloon France 25
Bontemps Ladle Bordeaux-France different
Bordeaux bottle Bottle all states 0,75
Bota de Vino (Bota) Drinking bag Spain approximately 1
Vat Container all states different
Buddel (Buttel) Bottle Germany different
Burgundy bottle Bottle all states 0,75
Butte (Lägel, Legel, Logel) Carrying basket all states 30 to 40 kg
Caña Drinking cup Andalusia-Spain -
Catavino Sherry glass Jerez-Spain -
Champagne bottle Sparkling wine bottle all states 0.75 and multiple
Champagne glass Drinking glass all states 0,125
Chantepleure Wine lifter France different
Clavelin Bottle Jurassic France 0,62
Cognac glass Drinking glass all states 0,2 to 0,4
Copita Tasting glass Spain -
Coupe Sparkling wine glass all states 0,125
Cuero Hose Spain different
Damajuana Vessel Argentina 5
Lady Jeanne Glass Balloon France different
Damigiana Glass Balloon Italy 28 or 54
Tasting glass Tasting glass all states 0,25
Demijohn (Lady Jane) Glass Balloon numerous countries 4.5 to 45
Depósito (Cubo) Container Portugal, Spain different
Doppler Bottle Austria 2
Dolium Fermentation tanks ancient Rome up to 3.000 and more
Dubbeglass Drinking glass Palatinate Germany 0,5
Stainless steel (steel tank) Tank container all states 50 to 1.5 million
Bucket Container all states 12 to 15
Barrel Expansion all states different
Drum harness Container Austria different
Barrel types Barrel types/sizes numerous countries different
Fiasco Basket bottle Italy different
Bottles Bottle sizes numerous countries 0.02 to 480
Flood Sparkling wine glass all states 0,125
Gaillacoise Bottle Gaillac France 0,75
Fermentation tank (fermentation stand) Barrels, tanks all states different
Garrafao Bottle Portugal 5
Ribbed Cider glass Hesse-Germany 0,25, 0,3, 0,5
GRP tank Plastic tank numerous countries different
Glass Container all states up to 65
Grand Trough Austria different
Grappa glass Drinking glass numerous countries 0,2
Wooden barrel - large wooden barrel Container all states different
Always full tank Tank container all states different
Kantharos Drinking vessel ancient Greece -
Carafe Vessel all states different
Katakuchi Jar Japan -
Keferloher Drinking vessel Germany 0,5 to 2
Cellar basket Transport container Austria different
Ceramics Tank, container all states different
KeyKeg Container all states 20, 30
Crater (Crater) Mixing vessel ancient Greece up to over 1,000
Jug Vessel, unit of measurement numerous countries 0.5 to 1.5
Kvevri Vessel Georgia up to 3.000 and more
Kylix - see Kantharos Drinking bowl ancient Greece -
Lambicchi Fermenter Italy -
Mainz pole Drinking glass Rhineland-Palatinate 0,4
Masu (Kimasu) Drinking cubes for sake Japan 0,18039
Graduated goblet Brass wine vessel christian countries approximately 0,5
Nubbed glass (nubs) Jug, glass numerous countries different
Ochoko Cup for Sake Japan ~0,1
Oinochoe (Chous, Olpe) Wine jug ancient Greece 3
Pazeid Wooden vessel South Tyrol 6 1/3
PET bottle Bottles numerous countries 0.5 to 5
Pithos Transport containers ancient Greece up to 3.000 and more
Plutzer (Blutzer) Vessel Austria different
Poirinetta Bottle Piedmont 1
Trophy Drinking vessel numerous countries different
Porrón (Porró) Drinking vessel Spain approximately 1
Port wine glass Drinking glass numerous countries 0,2
Pulcinella Bottle Umbria-Italy -
Ready-to-drink filled glass numerous countries Glass size
Rheingau flute Bottle Rheingau-Germany 0,75
Romans Drinking glass Central Europe 0,2 or 0,25
Saxony leg Bottle Saxony-Germany 0,75
Sakazuki Drinking bowl for sake Japan -
Sapine Wooden tub Burgundy-France limited volume
Flail bottle Bottle all states 0,75
Bottle Drinking glass, hollow measure Germany 0,4 and 0,5
Lap koa (Gait) wooden trough Austria different
Sechterl Vessel Austria limited volume
Pennant Fermenter german-speaking area 100 to 200 hl
Talha Vessel Alentejo-Portugal -
Tappit hen Jug Scotland, England 2,25
Tastevin Tasting bowl France 0,25
Tetra Pak (Tetra Brik) Container numerous countries different
Tinaja Fermenter Spain up to 1.000 and more
Tokkuri Jar Tokkuri 0,15 to 0,3
Treveris Drinking glass Moselle-Germany 0,25
Tulip Cognac, beer glass all states different
Venencia Scoop cup Jerez-Spain 0,75
Quarter (quarter) Drinking glass Austria 0,25
Wineskin Packaging southern lands different
Wine glasses Drinking glasses all states different
Wine lifter Sampling vessel numerous countries 0,5 to 1
Wine vials Glass jar numerous countries 60 to 100 ml
Willy cup Drinking glass Germany 0,2 to 0,5
Tub Container Germany, Austria 150 to 200

See further lists on the topics "containers" and "volumes" under the keywords barrel, barrel types, surface dimensions, bottles, largest barrel in the world, hollow dimensions and records.

Barrels and fermentation tanks: Pixabay

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