Home Wine Industry Spotlights Parsec’s Aphromate Plus Automates Charmat Sparkling Wine Production

Parsec’s Aphromate Plus Automates Charmat Sparkling Wine Production

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ATPGroup and their trusted partner Parsec move into the US sparkling wine production market. Introducing Aphromate Plus which offers an innovative and precise control system for the automation of the Charmat method sparkling wine process.

ATPGroup prides themselves on “relentless innovation” across the wine, beer, food, and pharmaceutical industries. Their enology team partners with wineries to provide technical solutions, to make innovative product recommendations, and can help overcome a variety of winemaking challenges. By bringing Parsec’s revolutionary European system to the US in the form of Aphromate Plus, they are giving wineries more options for sparkling wine production. 

The Charmat method was created in Italy and is a sparkling winemaking process that traps bubbles in wine via carbonation in large steel tanks. The Charmat method is used in Italy to produce Prosecco, Moscato, Lambrusco, and others, and in Spain for non-method champenoise-made sparkling wines. ATPGroup has just started distributing the Aphromate Plus for use in the USA, and the first process system is now in use at a large winery in Northern California.

The Aphromate Plus process control system provides: 

  1. Control and management of the fermentation speed and thermal stratification
  2. Adaptive regulation of the fermentation speed
  3. Open tank fermentation and predictive management of tank closure
  4. Absolute accuracy in terms of residual sugar
  5. Predictive management of fermentation arrests
  6. Advanced regulation of degassing pressure

The Aphromate Plus control system can now remove some of the most common issues with creating sparkling wine using the Charmat method, like eliminating reductive aromas, so one can avoid the use of copper, removing the need for additional sugar normally needed for degassing, and can also eliminate erroneous amounts of CO2 in bottles. Cost savings can be seen in the elimination of spoiled product, fewer work hours for winemaking staff, and fewer additives needed to produce a quality product.

This system, used in large and small wineries in Italy, Spain and now the US, interestingly offers the option to small and medium sized wineries to create batches of sparkling wine for their wine club members.  With DTC sales increasing drastically during the pandemic, many wineries are listening to their wine club members’ requests for sparkling wines.  In trials with their experimental vineyard, a small batch was made from just two tons of grapes, showcasing the option for smaller wine club-sized lots.

Per author Mitch Frank, as cited in the December 15, 2020, issue of The Wine Spectator, consumption of sparkling wines has grown over the past twelve years in the US. The trend of wineries to include a bubbles option on their wine list has grown enormously, putting pressure on more American wineries to produce sparkling. However, the capacity to do so has been limited, until now.    

Large wineries can find major cost savings in the automation of many components of this process control system, with data at their fingertips in the form of a dashboard panel. Andrea Uliva, Winemaker, Research & Development for Parsec, explains that the Aphromate Plus can be set to let the winemaker know if the fermentation is slowing, thus the yeast may need more food, or if the temperature should be adjusted.

Elliot Bonior, Area Manager and Enological Process Sales for ATPGroup, says, “The Aphromate Plus platform has the ability to easily integrate into any winery’s cellar. From a large scale Charmat production to a small sparkling wine club allocation, this system can be tailored to produce a dependable, high-quality product.” Importantly, he notes that, “This is a game-changing tool for the winemaker and their team. They can now produce consistent product regardless of the ever-changing variables that wine grapes present. This is due to the customizable programs and protocols of the system. Every part of the fermentation process is tracked in real time. If needed, the winemaking team can always intervene; however, the dashboard of the program will give the winemaker the data needed to prevent the tedious process of daily tank checks and lab analysis. The Aphromate system completely automates this process and gives the winemaker thorough visibility throughout the entire Charmat production.”

“We created this product initially to help producers in Italy create a sparkling wine with the right sugars, and keep specific pressure throughout the second fermentation”, tells Uliva. “It’s tricky to produce a sparkling wine in tank,” he notes. “This system dynamically controls the fermentation. It can help you get a better environment for the second fermentation (Pris de Mousse).”

ATPGroup has a team of maintenance and service technicians, along with parts specialists, offering 24/7 emergency service in the US. From regularly scheduled service checks to emergency issues, ATPGroup has their service team and parts on hand. Technicians are specially trained by Parsec, so have the knowledge and specific skills to keep production flowing. Additionally, for the Aphromate Plus, Parsec offers online specialists who can help set up the programming, do online training, or aid in any software questions.

ATPGroup is the exclusive US partner for Parsec and its Aphromate Plus system. For more information please visit https://atpgroup.com/product/aphromate-plus/ or contact an ATPGroup Equipment Specialist at (707) 836-6840.

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