How is Nitrogen Used to Make Wine?

July 23, 2019

Nitrogen is critical in the process of wine-making during multiple steps of the operation, and mostly used to remove or keep oxygen out of the process.

Why is it important to control the dissolved oxygen in the wine-making process?

Dissolved oxygen is natrually present in the wine and is necessary during the vinification and part of the breeding process. However, it can cause premature oxidation and microbial developments in the wine. If too much oxygen present in the wine, it can cause unfavorable changes in color and the aromatic profile of the wine which is irreversible after conditioning. In the past, sulfur has been used to protect the wine but it can cause headaches, nausea, allergic reactions and digestive issues. Nitrogen has proved to be a much more safe and cost-efficient alternative to excess sulfur.

Pneumatech's line of on-site nitrogen generators are ideal for every step in the process including:

  1. Pressurization: To avoid the supply of oxygen during pressing, the environment of the grapes is saturated with nitrogen.
  2. Inerting: Avoid the supply of dissolved oxygen to the surface of the must by nitrogen inerting.
  3. Flotation: Nitrogen microbubbles are injected from the bottom of the flotation tank
  4. Disassembly: The violent injection of nitrogen causes a restructuration of the cap without oxygen supply
  5. Assembly: Homogenize wines, glue or adjuvant without adding oxygen
  6. Inertage: Inert the gaseous skies of the tanks
  7. Transfer Tank: Avoid the supply of oxygen during wine transfers by oxygen inerting
  8. Filtration: Nitrogen injection in the musts or wines before the physical treatment to avoid a supply of oxygen
  9. Stripping: Consists of driving gas or volatile matter into the wine by nitrogen
  10. Deoxygenation: Remove dissolved oxygen by adding nitrogen
  11. Decarbonization: Remove dissolved CO2 by adding nitrogen
  12. Barrel Racking: The injection of nitrogen at low pressure in the gaseous sky of the barrel will allow the evacuation of the wine by the cane.
  13. Bottling: Avoid dissolved oxygen in wines and headspace by nitrogen inerting

 

The purity of the nitrogen during wine-making can range from 99.5% to 99.9% depending on which stage you are at in the process. Pneumatech offers a full line of on-site nitrogen generators that offer various purities for all applications including wine-making. You can browse our full line HERE.