By Branden Hamby
Consumers don’t enjoy seeing haze or tartrate crystals floating around in their wines. Therefore, protein stability as well as the cold stabilization of wines happens in cellars all over the world. Winemakers and cellar crew dread the time consuming and energy-intensive process of stabilization by chilling, seeding, and racking the wine off the tartrate crystals or fining agents. Fortunately, breakthroughs in innovative technologies have led to the creation of products that stabilize the wine without going through this subtractive process.
Carboxyl Methyl Cellulose (CMC) is a colloidal stabilizer that inhibits potassium bitartrate crystal growth. It does this by preventing microcrystal nucleation and interrupting growth phases through disorganization of the surface of the crystal. This removes the need for refrigeration, reduces wine loss, and speeds up wine preparation time before bottling. The CMC method requires less time and energy use than traditional cold stabilization methods and is a non-subtractive alternative.
“Protein stability before using CMC is key,” says Tinus Els, the Technical Sales Manager for BSG Wine. “New technology has allowed us to detect protein stability faster and more efficiently, allowing winemakers to make better choices about methods to stabilize their wines.”
Tinus will be leading the North Coast Wine Industry Expo session on the Advancement of Protein Stability & CMC vs. Traditional Cold Stabilization. He has years of winemaking experience working as a flying winemaker all over the world including winemaking project in France, Spain, Chile, and South Africa. Joining him will be a panel consisting of winemakers Tim Donahue, Director of Winemaking at College Cellars in Washington, Gabriel Valenzuela, Senior Winemaker at Rack and Riddle Custom Crush in California, and Leo Facini who is a Technical Manager with Juclas USA. Together they will showcase the different cold stabilization methods and the new Proteotest Kit by Enology VASON, which allows for quick measurement of when protein stability is reached without over estimating the bentonite requirement.
Not only will the session go over the differences between CMC and traditional cold stabilization methods, but will also dive into an in-depth analysis on costs associated with the methods and how they affect wine quality. Session participants will also get to taste trials conducted using the CMC vs Traditional Cold Stabilization methods.
The 2017 WIN Expo Trade Show and Conference will take place at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, CA on November 30th. For more information and registration, go to wineindustryexpo.com.