Home Wine Industry Spotlights New Multi-Pronged Smoke Taint Removal Process Patented

New Multi-Pronged Smoke Taint Removal Process Patented


Climate change presents real challenges to wine producing locations when wildfires strike where wine grapes are grown. Essentially sucking in the smoke compounds floating in the air through their skins, wine grapes are then able to pass this into the wine being made. VA Filtration USA offers a brand new process, removing not only the free taint creating the smoke aromatics, but also the bound taint from affected wine, eliminating the “rebound” effect.

VA Filtration currently holds US Patents* for free taint removal, as well as the nanofiltration-based processing of VA reduction. Working last spring to help Napa Valley vintners remove taint from the 2017 fires, VA Filtration’s newest and recently developed three-pronged process is now in trials in Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake Counties in Northern California. Providing scientific results by using a combination of proprietary MWCO membrane elements and adsorption columns, they are able to reduce the glycosides considerably per filtration pass. The following example analysis of a wine processed using this new method indicates the new level of reduction achieved in the first pass through the system (all analysis performed by the AWRI):

Smoke taint removal data table

The glycosides (Gentiobiosides and rutinosides) are the culprits of the bound taint. This new process lowers their levels significantly at each pass through the process. As a benchmark, non-tainted oaked cabernet sauvignon shows the following peak baseline numbers (as provided by the AWRI baseline survey for Australian Cabernet Sauvignon wines):

Syringol Gentiobioside 4.5
Methylsyringol gentiobioside 1.1
Phenol Rutinoside 4
Cresol Rutinoside 4
Guaiacol Rutinoside 7
Methylguaiacol rutinoside 4

The old process often included a pre-enzymatic treatment on the wine two to three weeks prior to the action. Then came a crossflow filtering of the wine prior to taint reduction, then the taint reduction process itself. Finally, some winemakers opted for a final concentration of the wine post taint reduction using UF.

With their newest process, the wine undergoes an on-premise, three step procedure. To start the process, your wine goes into a membrane system, which separates the liquid into two parts, a retentate stream and a permeate stream. It is the permeate stream which contains both the bound and the free form of the smoke compounds. The permeate stream is then sent through an adsorption column, where the free form of the smoke aromatics are reduced. The same permeate stream then goes into a secondary treatment column, where the bound form of the smoke taint is reduced (glycosides & rutinosides). Depending on the level of taint, VA Filtration experts can recommend the number of passes which will give you the best results for your product. Wine with lesser taint may undergo fewer passes through the system, while wines with heavier taint may need up to five passes or more. Each client only need contract for the number of passes that suit the level of taint.

Capable of processing 1500 gallons per hour, VA Filtration has the bandwidth to process anywhere from one barrel to large amounts. Trial tests are available on amounts from one gallon up, but results are more conclusive the larger the trial sample, providing a great benchmark for testing.

VA Filtration is a mobile wine service and equipment manufacturing company, with patented procedures. VA Filtration specializes in all forms of membrane processing systems. 

Contact [email protected] to schedule a discrete discussion on how VA Filtration can help you present your best wine or visit www.vafiltration.com/usa/ for more information.


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