July 1, 2015 | by Lisa Mattson

Why are egg whites used as fining agents for red wine? Watch to learn more about the old-world winemaking process of egg-white fining–and what we do with all those leftover yolks at Jordan Winery.

The decision whether or not to egg white fine a vintage of Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon happens each summer before wine bottling. In certain vintages, our winemaking team decides to add egg whites as fining agents to help soften the tannins of the Bordeaux-style wine, ensuring a more approachable mouthfeel. 2014 was the fourth consecutive vintage of Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon to be egg-white fined. (Prior to 2011, 2004-2007 was the last string of egg-white fined vintages.) After wine bottling season each July, the red wine will age in bottle for two years before release.

We don’t have to go far to find great farm-fresh eggs. Sous Chef Manuel Reyes has more than 200 chickens on his farm, and he sells their eggs to Jordan, as well as to consumers at the Healdsburg and Windsor farmers’ markets. There are only two dozen chickens in the coop at Jordan Estate, so we appreciate the extra eggs this time of year. After all, it takes more than 2,200 egg whites to fine an average-sized vintage of Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon.

Using egg whites as fining agents in wine is the final step in the winemaking process before wine bottling. Go inside our bottling line next.