Home Industry News Releases Napa Valley’s AuburnJames Deploys New Wine Maturation Process

Napa Valley’s AuburnJames Deploys New Wine Maturation Process


New Zealand Wine Technology Start Up Bottles First US Vintage

Wine GrenadeAuckland, New Zealand, 29 November 2016 – Napa Valley winery AuburnJames has bottled 6,000 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon using Wine Grenade’s membrane-based maturation process, the first US winery to apply the innovative technology. This allowed the St Helena winery to augment its premium wine business and compete in a new price tier without incurring the costs of upgrading facilities or storage capacity.

Wine Grenade’s technology, developed in New Zealand, replicates oak barrel maturation inside of steel tanks by slowly and precisely dispersing tiny amounts of oxygen through a moving permeable membrane. The portable, cloud-connected devices provide winemakers with vital data via a mobile app that allows them to track progress and control the process remotely.

AuburnJames simulated an 18-24 month barrel program in just eight months after applying three Wine Grenade devices on three 4,000 gallon tanks, as well as one and two year barrels, targeting 30% new oak adjunct.

“AuburnJames chose Wine Grenade after searching for the best way to put oxygen into the wine for the amount of oak adjunct we were using. We wanted to reduce cost, increase volume and utilize this facility to its full extent,” says Jon Frost, Associate Winemaker at AuburnJames. “The devices ensure active dispersion of oxygen at the dose rate I’m looking for, giving me the confidence that the whole tank is getting it and there are no pockets of dissolved oxygen.”

Following the success of their initial vintage, AuburnJames is applying Wine Grenade’s technology to Chardonnay as part of a sur lie bâtonnage program.

“The Wine Grenade represents a step-change in wine maturation technology and we are delighted to see AuburnJames produce our first vintage in the United states,” says Wine Grenade CEO Hamish Elmslie, “Our approach differs from other micro-oxygenation technologies in that it remains true to the molecular osmosis that happens during oak barrel maturation, rather than bubbling oxygen in from a sinter at the bottom of the tank. This approach is creating wine that is outperforming competitor systems in blind taste tests.”

Wine Grenade’s technology is already in use in Australia, and New Zealand’s Sacred Hill Wines is now producing a second vintage.

Wine Grenade is a New Zealand-based wine technology company that produces an innovative wine maturation system that will allow winemakers to mature quality wine at a lower cost, and in a shorter timeframe. For more information, please visit www.winegrenade.com

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