The term “Remontage” is a French word which can be translated as “Pumping Over”. It is used to describe the process of pumping the grape juice over the skins during the maceration and/or fermentation phase of a grape must.
In order to extract as much juice as possible, a spray nozzle is used to pump the juice over the cap from a valve at the tank’s bottom. Depending on how frequently and for how long each pumpover is performed throughout the day, the winemaker can modify the level of extraction.
A winemaker may opt to pump-over up to four times per day while extraction is at its highest during the beginning of fermentation. Generally, the process is only done once a day near the end of the fermentation. Compared to punching down (called “Pigeage”, click here for more details), this approach yields higher levels of extraction while requiring less work. However, it is less extractive than the “Délestage” (click here for more details on Délestage). It is frequently used for grape varietals with thick skin like Syrah, Cabernet, and Merlot.
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