Adding water to must is now legal in Australia under specific conditions but it remains a topic of discussion and debate.
The obvious positive is the ability to moderate alcohol levels to facilitate fermentation. What is unclear is whether there’s a down side. Does adding water affect the quality of what goes into the bottle? And does it become a different wine?
There is some cautionary good news on the first of those questions, courtesy of University of Adelaide PhD candidate Olaf Schelezki. The results of his research suggest that limited amounts of water added at the start of fermentation does not have a dramatic impact on key parameters such as colour, tannins, volatiles and sensory.
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