Sustainability has escalated into a top concern for consumers, governments and businesses worldwide. Consumer goods manufacturers have developed complex zero-waste water and energy conservation and other initiatives with goals set for 2030 or 2040. In the wine business, these practices are simply practical day-to-day decisions, especially where long-term drought, more frequent wildfires and increasingly early frosts impact each vintage.
Viticulture is often the area wineries focus on when considering sustainability, but decisions about the winemaking process and equipment can also significantly impact a winery’s sustainability as well as its bottom line. The industry’s suppliers understand the rising importance of these concerns and have developed innovative solutions that deliver energy and water usage efficiency along with other benefits.
A more sustainable winemaking process
An example of sustainable winemaking equipment is the TMCI Padovan Kristalstop Cold Stabilizer, available exclusively in the U.S. from ATPGroup. Padovan’s Kristalstop can stabilize wine in 90–120 minutes instead of the 6 or 7 days it usually takes. In addition, the volume of the crystallization tank is 60–80 times smaller than the refrigerated holding tanks traditionally used. Based on the system’s unique design, this plant will effectively deliver up to 80% in energy savings versus traditional stability methods.
Equally important considering today’s labor shortage, the Kristalstop has an automated system that carefully monitors stabilization and continues the process until no tartrate crystals remain. This automation saves labor costs since it does not require manual operators and can be left completely unattended. Workers are not needed to change valves or make other adjustments. The Kristalstop also offers the flexibility to stop or temporarily reduce the product flow and to re-start at any time.
The automated process results in additional sustainability benefits. “In particular, it is this automatic filtration that permits us to utilize a traditional cartridge filter to retain the expelled tartrate crystals,” says Massimo Pivetta, Sales Manager at TMCI Padovan S.p.A., “and this cartridge can be used for several years.” Wineries can reuse the tartrates that are removed from the Kristalstop system, and those tartrates can then be used to make cream of tartar, among other important products. Faencal Tartaric Products in Fresno, CA, part of the ATPGroup family of companies, is the only domestic producer of cream of tartar made from wine lees. ATPGroup is always willing to buy the tartrates from its customers, effectively giving Kristalstop users a new revenue stream from something they used to consider waste, while also increasing the sustainability and efficiency of their winemaking process.
The modern way of meeting demand
Many winemakers are used to fining wine with bentonite, gelatin and other fining agents and stabilizing wine simultaneously. To gain the maximum benefit of the Kristalstop, the winemaker must change this process so that the fining is done first, then the cross-flow filtration. Once the wine is crystal clear, the Kristalstop is used for stabilization. This method allows winemakers to wait until the last minute to stabilize the wine, eliminating the need to stock cases of wine against future demand.
“This way of winemaking is to fine it whenever you need,” says Pivetta, “filter it whenever you need, and then, at the last moment, just when you have an order, stabilize it in 2 hours, bottle and deliver. Nobody wants to spend money on stocking bottled product. Instead, you get an order, stabilize the wine, and go straight to bottle in a maximum of 2 days.”
Adds Elliot Bonior, Area Manager of Enological Process Sales for ATPGroup, “this optimizes the order of operations in the cellar for fining, stabilizing and filtration. We are changing the way these wines are prepared for bottling, reducing the traditional and tedious cold stability process down to a few hours as opposed to a few weeks.” Just-in-time stabilization saves storage costs and reduces the warehouse carbon footprint by quickly turning around the final product when it is time to sell. The short 2-hour chilling time also significantly reduces oxygen absorption.
ATPGroup prides itself on offering customers innovative solutions like the Kristalstop Cold Stabilizer and Padovan’s equally innovative Nitor Plus Cross-Flow Filter System. The Nitor Plus is a customizable, fully-automatic filtration system that improves performance and ease of use and delivers greater sustainability than other filters by lowering water consumption and waste production, while producing a very high quality product. ATPGroup also has a team of service technicians based in Windsor, CA and specially trained by TMCI Padovan to maintain and repair all of their equipment.
ATPGroup and Padovan invite you to tune in to the January 13th webinar, “Ultrasounds in Winemaking,” at 9:30 am PST. Professor Antonio Morata, an expert in wine technology, and Professor Andrea Natolino, whose work on ultrasound technology in red winemaking won the best technology award at Enoforum Contest 2021, join Pivetta to offer insights into how ultrasound technology can enhance wine quality in different phases of the winemaking process. Click here for details and to register for the webinar.
To learn more about the Padovan Kristalstop Cold Stabilizer, the Nitor Plus Cross-Flow Filter System, or any winemaking equipment contact ATPGroup’s Elliot Bonior at [email protected].