Home Wine Industry Spotlights STARSpH with Bipolar Membranes: A New Process for Modern Winemaking

STARSpH with Bipolar Membranes: A New Process for Modern Winemaking

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What if you didn’t need to chemically manipulate your wine to achieve the correct pH? Oenodia’s new U.S. launch of their STARSpH system does just that. STARSpH uses a unique system of bipolar membranes that removes the excess potassium but doesn’t touch the concentration of your tartaric acid, bringing your pH exactly to the level where you reach the best organoleptic expression. And all this is done in a single pass!

“It’s a different thought process for your winemaking,” says Oenodia’s U.S. based sales manager, Dr. Damien Monnet. “This system is adapted to be used by any winery. Winemakers can save time and reveal the quality.” It represents a shift from the traditional acidification using additives, into the removal of micro-components of the wine to impact only the pH, so the flavors of your wine are recovered and you avoid the sharpness of acidification by the addition of tartaric acid.   

The treatment consists of a unique system of membranes, used in stacks, through which your wine will travel. With the STARSpH system, there are two types of membranes, bipolar and cationic. On the cationic membrane, the potassium K+ is specifically removed from the wine. With these new bipolar membranes, the generation of H+ by dissociation of water, exactly compensates for the elimination of each K+ which allows STARSpH to drop the pH precisely to the level the winemaker wishes (from 0.10 to 0.50). Tasting while processing the wine gives the winemaker the opportunity to reach the perfect pH and uncover the wine’s potential. 

Best used for wines which see a high level of potassium and thus high pH levels, this technology allows for brighter wines, using the wine’s own acidity to create freshness and balance. By using STARSpH, you can create a naturally more acidic, best version of your wine.  

In addition to the whites and the reds, Rosé wines would also seem to be a good candidate for this process! “We use this for some Rosés in Provence!” says Monnet. “By managing the pH, you can improve the color of the rosé wine. When the pH is lower, the orange components move the color back towards pink and pH optimization gives both freshness and color back to the wine. There is essentially a wow effect on the color.”   

Additionally, Monnet touts a wonderful side benefit to the process in that it delivers a security for the wine with respect to its microbiological risk. “The better the balance and acidity of your wine, the better the opportunity for good ageing!” he notes. “With this membrane-based, light touch system, you are able to lessen the level of sulfites in your wines without sacrificing the protection.” Damien goes on to explain “STARSpH avoids the use of tartaric acid and reduces the need for sulfites by increasing their efficiency. It is a solution which aligns with Oenodia’s culture of minimizing the additives used”. 

STARSpH, which is based on bipolar electrodialysis and zero additives, is a process for the modern winemaker who is looking to produce wines in a more sustainable way.  

The new STARSpH, using bipolar membranes, is a new technology, currently used successfully in France, Spain and North Africa, where temperatures are high, and now available in the US.  

Stop by the Oenodia Booth # P2228 at Unified, or see their STARS Mobile Service unit at the outdoor exhibition area #40 to find out more. Not heading to Unified this year? Call or email Oenodia to set up a consultation. Contact Damien Monnet at [email protected] or 707-302-4554.

Or visit their website at www.oenodia.us/ to find how STARS can help your wines become additive-free.

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