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    Federico Casassa, California Polytechnic State University; Marcia Torres, Matanza Creek Winery
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Mechanical Transfer of whole grapes to the press without oxydation


During production, the most critical stages are that of the destemming and crushing, as well as the transfer of the juice into the press in an inert environment. Quick enzymatic oxidation reactions is likely to cause significant degradation of the raw material already at the stage of loading the press. Ideally, whole –not crushed - grapes should be loaded into the inert press in order to minimize the contact with oxygen. This can be considered as the absolute reference in terms of optimal prevention from degradative processes promoted by the enzymes lipoxidase and polyphenoloxidase and is considered of some complexity, as it slows down the process, requires extra handwork, and requires an inert vacuum-suction and/or additional blanketing with dry ice. The experiments have regarded the use of an integrated system, conceived and realized by Ragazzini (Faenza, Italy), consisting in a peristaltic pump Rotho that allows a soft transfer of the grapes, coupled with the new grape feeder “Rotho-Noxys”. Filling the press with whole berriesgrapes in an inert environment, ensures that the product is handled sensitively, as well as providing the maximum protection of aromas. In addition, this new equipment will enable the production of healthier wines. Through the reduction of exogenous antioxidants (sulfur dioxide in particular), fully exploiting the natural antioxidants found in grapes, such as glutathione, allows for the making of the most fragrant and terroir driven white wines
Published on 31/05/2010
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