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Use of ultrasounds to accelerate aging on lees of red wines

Antonio Morata, Polytechnic University of Madrid - Spain

Use of ultrasounds to accelerate aging on lees of red wines

Aging on lees (AOL) is a powerful technique to protect varietal aroma and color. Simultaneously, it helps to soften tannins and increase and improve wine body and structure. AOL is complementary to barrel aging modulating the wood impact and protecting wine from oxidative conditions. The main drawback is that the yeast autolysis developed during AOL is a slow process, taking at least one year to produce the degradation of cell structures and the significant release of yeast polysaccharides and other cell components to modify the sensory profile of wine.

This process can be accelerated by using enzymes or thermal treatments and also using non-Saccharomyces yeasts. The use of ultrasounds (USs) is an alternative technology to break the yeast cells and to speed the autolysis process. US are high intensity sound waves that by cavitation, local heating produce the disruption of the cells and the extraction and release of proteins, polysaccharides, and other cell components.

Could any collateral effects be produced? Or US are overall a useful technology to improve and accelerate the AOL of red wines? Professor Antonio Moarata of the Polytechnic University of Madrid presents the results of research of his group.

Video of the seminar held during Enoforum USA 2021 (4-5 May 2021)

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Published on 03/01/2022
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