Home Wine Industry Spotlights Smoke Taint Removal Process Puts Winemaker in Control

Smoke Taint Removal Process Puts Winemaker in Control


Leading Alcohol and Flavor Management Company Provides Critical Smoke Taint Relief to Winemakers During Historic Wildfires

“The difference here is the timing and the magnitude of the fires.”

So notes Jerome Nathan, the CEO of ConeTech Inc., a specialized California-based company dedicated to technology-driven innovation in the global beverage industry, while discussing the wildfires that have raged throughout the western U.S. for the past several weeks.

Sergio Torres and Jerome Nathan

“In prior years, significant fires happened in October, when most of the harvest was already in,” Nathan continues. “Fire activity beginning in August poses significantly more risk to winemakers.”

Fortunately for the wine industry, already challenged by Covid-19 restrictions on business operations and now facing crop threatening smoke taint in the midst of the 2020 harvest, ConeTech has developed a proprietary method that drastically reduces or completely eliminates the voluntary components responsible for organoleptic deficiencies in smoke tainted wine.

ConeTech’s patented methodology began by accurately identifying both the free and bound compounds causing smoke taint, thus allowing them to identify the necessary matrix to target these compounds for removal, a process which begins with a low temperature distillation.

The distillation enables ConeTech to separate the delicate essence compounds that, because of their lighter molecular weight, do not contain smoke taint from the offensive compounds that do. Once the tainted compounds are removed, the essence compounds are reunited with the wine juice, resulting in perfectly marketable wine.

“So far we’ve successfully processed more than a million gallons of wine removing both free and bound compounds, proven using specialized analytics,” Nathan asserts. “Our process works.”

ConeTech offers a completely scalable operation to small, medium and large members of the winemaking community with the ability to process anywhere from 150 to 19 thousand gallons of wine per day.

Critical to the effectiveness of ConeTech’s taint removal system is the philosophy that the winemaker him or herself is always in charge of the end product.

Jessica Smith
Jessica Smith

“In our organizational mission to be innovative, we put the winemaker in control,” confirms Jessica Smith, ConeTech’s Director of Domestic Operations. “We invite winemakers to be on site tasting as we’re doing the processing so they can determine what the wine will ultimately be. We’re able to offer them lab scale, benchtop testing so they can see what they’re getting into.

“Putting them back in control during this point in the process after everything else has been so out of control is definitely key to our success.”

“We want to give winemakers three options; bulk it out, blend it or bottle it,” adds Nathan. “We know the winemaker has an end product in mind. Our goal is help them achieve it.”

ConeTech is a member of the Advanced Beverage Technologies group of companies.

For more information on ConeTech’s patented smoke taint removal process and orders, email [email protected] or call 707.577.7500.


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