I spent 20 of Edmunds St. Johns’ 25 years wishing I could make wine in concrete, after discovering that some of the finest wines I’ve tasted in nearly 40 years in this business were made entirely in concrete. They tasted that way for several really important reasons: first, they were made from really exceptional grapes, grown in great vineyards, second, the surface of the concrete didn’t add or subtract anything from the aroma and flavor the grapes imparted to the wine, and third, the porosity of the concrete “freshened” the wine, keeping it from becoming bound-up, or marked by reduction. It sounded great, but after making wine using stainless and oak barrels for so long, I felt like I didn’t quite know what to expect.

Concrete wine vats have been around for well over 150 years, so there’s no rocket-science involved. When I learned how long Micah has been working with concrete, I felt I was in good hands, and when I met him, I was even more sure of it. He’s a very good craftsman, and he ‘s long understood that the success of his business depends on making sure his customers succeed using his products. So I had him build me a tank, and I co-fermented some marvelous Syrah and Grenache grapes in it, and I’ve been thrilled from the first taste! There’s a reason these vats are still around after such a long time; they make the grapes happy to become wine!

Steve Edmunds - Edmunds St. John Winery,