Your own flavor-proof membrane capability

Nothing is more essential to premium wine production than to harvest at optimum maturity. Yet intentional picking of under-ripe grapes is commonplace. The threats of continuing rain, alcohol imbalance, potential bird damage and rot often prompt the decision to pick before maturity is achieved. An on-site reverse osmosis capability changes the way harvest decisions are made.

Reverse osmosis is an engineering term for a flavor- and color-retentive membrane 10,000 times tighter than a sterile filter. Its surface prevents wine flavor and color from passing, and allows the extraction of rainwater, alcohol, or acetic acid without harming the wine.  R.O. capability allows greater fruit maturity, color and varietal flavor by permitting fruit to hang without peril of loss.

The applications of a reverse osmosis system on site depend on your climatic conditions. In cool regions, fruit can hang through rain until maturity is reached. If necessary, harvest can occur up to the point when rot actually begins. Pure rainwater can then be removed from the juice, preserving flavor

In sunnier areas, extended hang time results in excessive alcohol, which can be removed via R.O. permeate distillation and recombination. For Estate Bottled facilities, the R.O. must be on site. California wineries may ship permeate to Vinovation for distillation, after which de-alcoholized permeate is returned to the winery for recombination without violating the Estate privilege. Vinovation can assist you in obtaining correct licensing for your area (see below).

Ripe grapes attract birds. It’s their job – the method by which they reproduce. In a small percentage of cases (perhaps 2% in reds), bird damage can lead to bacterial infections which result in acetic acid generation during primary fermentation. Our patented process can alleviate volatile acidity without harming quality.

More reliable botrytised wine production 

Botrytised fruit must hang well into the rainy season to achieve complete infection. If fruit is well-affected and concentrated, subsequent rain can be removed via reverse osmosis to a limit of about 35o Brix. (This is no substitute for ripeness!) It is usually desirable to own your own machine for this purpose, since timing is critical when the need arises. One client paid for their machine in a single day!

Distillation on your Estate 

For full control of handling, time efficiency and long-term cost benefit, a permeate still on-site may be the best choice. Vinovation is the world leader in the design, construction and installation of packed column permeate distillation systems for wine. On-site rental equipment can acquaint you with the technical issues of still design and implementation.

We encourage U.S. wineries, particularly in California, to contact our attorney Toni Griffin for assistance in obtaining appropriate licenses. This process requires substantial lead time but is not expensive (see Getting Your Own DSP). Our consulting network can also offer assistance with local compliance issues such as fire safety, which varies locally, and environmental impacts, which are minimal.

Integrated Tannin Management

Phenolic structure affects all aspects of wine appearance, aroma, flavor and texture.  The development of a sensible elevage program must consider the complete winegrowing process including vineyard site characteristics, facility constraints, style goals and marketing intentions. Vinovation's consulting staff works with winemakers to facilitate the careful introduction of sensible improvements.

Young red wine structure may be enhanced through MicroOxygenation, which can also stabilize color and tame vegetal aromas and sulfide tendencies. This technique is powerful and inexpensive, but is also dangerous for the novice and often disruptive to established winemaking practices. Vinovation offers a Full Service Support Package to optimize results and prevent problems.

Complementary to Micro-Oxygenation is the introduction of instantaneous oxygen through racking. This does not have the same structuring and aroma integration effects, but it does open up and hurry along the wine's maturation. While this may be accomplished simply by racking, the use of a Cliqueur is more precise and less labor intensive.

Press wines, low maturity, and other viticultural and enological practices may result in wines which contain excessive dry tannin. Tradition fining with egg albumin, casein, gelatin or isinglass can be deleterious to wine texture and aroma. Ultrafiltration presents a striking modern alternative which smoothes mouthfeel while conserving aroma.

Tannin supplements such as XPRESS and Boisé oak chips may be employed to enhance balance, fatness and sweetness. XPRESS is obtained as an ultrafiltration by-product: it consists of the tannin concentrate from press reds, and is a pure flavonoid procyanidin tannin. Boisé oak chips are one-year air-dried Alliers oak chips toasted in France, and are available in untoasted, single-chauffe, and de-tannined double-chauffe. These products are produced primarily to be consistent in their properties to enhance wine texture. Custom toasting is available on request to suit a desired aromatic profile.

Optimum flavor balance is obtained via alcohol adjustment techniques, which have striking impacts on aroma and texture. "Sweet spot" tastings examining wine characteristics at 0.1% intervals are a critical step in choosing a wine of good balance of the desired style. Oddly, most stopping points are not very good. Even stranger, the wine usually presents two or three well balanced alternatives with very different style profiles.

Estate Pre-Bottling Services 

MicroOxygenation, oak, sur lies and other treatments enhance the macromolecular structure of wine. To preserve this structure, many winemakers prefer to avoid sterile filtration at bottling. Velcorin injection offers an alternative for stabilization against Brettanomyces. Although the injection equipment is expensive, Estate-Bottled wineries may take advantage of our mobile Velcorin injection service.


The following pages will tell you more about the various aspects of Custom Equipment Manufacture for your Estate Winery:

Uses of R.O. - Alcohol Adjustment of Bulk Wine - Volatile Acidity Reduction - MicroOxygenation


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Vinovation, Inc
ph:(707) 824-7900  •  fax:(707) 824-7905  •  email: info@vinovation.com
facility: 1446 Industrial Ave, Sebastopol, CA 95472