Researchers have developed a colorimetric tool with the potential to minimise white wine spoilage during production caused by excess copper.

Its creators say the test will allow winemakers to assess the amount of copper in their white wine after fermentation, during a copper fining trial, after copper addition, after bentonite fining and/or after membrane filtration.

Copper and iron are known to cause oxidation and reduction reactions (‘redox’ reactions) in wine that can influence its flavour. However, prior to this project, little was known about the key wine components binding the metals, or the impact of such binding on the rates of oxidative and/or reductive processes in wine.

A research team from the National Wine and Grape Industry Centre/Charles Sturt University and the Australian Wine Research Institute, led by Andrew Clark carried out a Wine Australia funded research project to better understand how the presence of different forms of metals (metal ‘species’) can influence ageing of bottled wine.

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