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20 March 2018
 

ENARTIS NEWS – HOW TO IMPROVE COLOR STABILITY AND INCREASE RED WINE QUALITY

Colour is part of red wine quality. It is not only a visual sensation, it also largely contributes to wine taste. It does not matter if with poor or excellent grapes, in both cases extracting, protecting and stabilising colour improves wine overall quality.

How to improve color stability and increase red wine quality

Colour is part of red wine quality. It is not only a visual sensation, it also largely contributes to wine taste. It does not matter if with poor or excellent grapes, in both cases extracting, protecting and stabilising colour improves wine overall quality.

Step 1: maximising extraction of colour and phenolic compounds

Phenolic compounds, anthocyanins and tannins are important for the organoleptic properties of wine, colour stability and ageing potential. One of the ways to maximise phenolic extraction is with the use of maceration enzymes. The pectolitic, cellulase and hemicellulase activities of Enartis Zym Color Plus ensure the degradation of berry cell walls, increasing permeability, which facilitates the diffusion of anthocyanins and, more importantly, accelerates the extraction of tannins into the must. In addition, Enartis Zym Color Plus contains a secondary protease activity whose role is to degrade grape proteins and to reduce their reactivity with grape tannins. The result is to maintain in solution a bigger quantity of tannins in the very first stages of fermentation when conditions are favourable to the formation of long-term stable pigments.

Step 2: use of exogenous tannins to protect and stabilise pigments

Anthocyanins are sensitive to oxidation when found in free form; they must be combined with tannins or other co-factors in order to form more stable pigments.  A prompt antioxidant protection, as soon as there is formation of juice, prevents loss of colour. During the transport or at the grape reception, AST(ascorbic acid, potassium metabisulphite and gallic tannin) guarantees a prompt and complete antioxidant and antimicrobial action.

At crushing, while filling the maceration tank, during cold soak, a sacrificial tannin like Enartis Tan FP or Enartis Tan Rougehas the double function of scavenging oxygen and participating in stabilisation reactions to form more stable colour pigments.

Step 3: turning anthocyanins into medium- to long-term stable pigments

The initial colour of red wine is mainly due to anthocyanins extracted from grapes during the winemaking process. Because of their sensitivity to oxidation, they do not adequately ensure a nice, fresh colour over time - they must be combined with tannins or other co-factors in order to form more stable pigments via co-pigmentation or condensation reaction. Tannins (Enartis Tan XC, Tan Color or Tan V) and polysaccharides (Enartis Pro range) can be very beneficial to protect colour, improve its stability and create a fuller structure.

Macro-oxygenation: the last opportunity to stabilise colour

Oxygen added in the period between alcoholic and malolactic  fermentation induces the production of acetaldehyde.  This compound acts as a bridge in polymerisation reactions involving tannins and anthocyanins, creating stable colour compounds that contribute a nice mauve colour and a soft tannicity. 

The addition of tannins specifically designed for this application like Enartis Tan E or Enartis Tan Microfruit amplifies the effect of the macro-oxygenation, increasing the fraction of anthocyanins converted to more stable forms.

Download the complete newsletter from the link to get more information about the mechanism of colour stabilisation, products, dosages and effects during the key steps in red winemaking.

 
 

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