STARS | Selective Tartrate Removal System
The French Connection
Above: Vintech Pacific's South Island based STARS mobile unit.
Vintech Pacific is pleased to introduce a new method for the tartrate stabilisation of wines.
This electrodialysis (ED) process has been jointly developed by INRA, the French National Agronomic Research Institute, and Eurodia Industrie.
Recent advances in ion exchange membrane technology have allowed the commercialisation of this innovative process. ED has been recognised by the International Wine Office (OIV) as "good practice" and has been approved for commercial use by the European Union for all types of wines, including AOC wines, as well as in the USA and other countries.
Above: Vintech Pacific's North Island based STARS mobile unit.
Advantages of the Electrodialysis (ED) Wine Stabilisation Process:
Non-detrimental to the sensory qualities of the wine >> There are no temperature changes or additives. The process does not significantly alter the wine characteristics and has no negative effect on the taste, bouquet, and color of the wine. There is always a predictable shift of pH downwards.
The traditional methods for tartrate stabilization involve refrigeration or the use of chemical additives. These are:
Cost savings: Tartrate stabilisation by Stars ED provides significant energy cost savings over the conventional refrigeration processes. Minimal wine is lost and only tatrates are removed. Wastes are reduced, as one membrane cleaning per cycle (12 hours) is required, and only 5 to 15 litres of water are consumed for each 100 liters of wine stabilised. The Stars ED process uses a minimal amount of electricity compared to the traditional cold method. There is no loss of colour and no requirement for cream of tartar.
A better mousetrap for tartrates:
STARS works by moving micro-layers of wine between two membranes which are selectively permeable, one to tartrate species, and the other to potassium and calcium.
A water-based conductant flows past the other side of each membrane. A weak electrical field attracts the tartrate salts and moves them through the membranes. As the salts cross the membranes, they are carried off by a conductant solution, which is discarded. The wines are ready for bottling immediately after stabilisation.
The process is controlled by the change in conductivity caused by the removal of the tartrate salts. A sample of the wine is tested to determine the tartaric stability point, and target conductivities are determined. The wine is continuously monitored to ensure that the target conductivity is achieved before the wine is removed from the system.
Vintech Pacific mobile service includes an apparatus for determining the wine's conductivity at the tartaric stability point. The system requires the wine to be at a minimum 17°C. The process is quite gentle, with pressure in the system never exceeding 3 bars.
Vintech Pacific provides a mobile service that crossflow filters the wine at all temperatures and then through the STARS process at up to 6000 litres per hour which will provide stable wine, on time and on demand.
WINERY REQUIREMENTS: Wineries need to provide access to electricity services supplying 400 volts three-phase at 32 amps, 220 volts at 20 amps or 220 volts at 10 amps. A minimum amount of 250 litres of hot water at maximum of 38 degrees C must be accessible. Plus 20 litres of liquid caustic at 50%minimum.