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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  19 Apr 2011

AGRICULTURE: SurePure Popular In Vineyards


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Following Government’s legalisation of the use of ultra violet light energy for liquid purification in oenological practice last year, acceptance of SurePure’s photopurification technology is gaining momentum, with many local winemakers having used SurePure’s system, which results in less harmful chemical intervention decreasing the need to add sulphur and other disinfectant additives.

This is according to Steve Miller, Marketing Executive of SurePure, who explains how the approved SurePure photopurification method, which uses light energy to disinfect wine, differs from the traditional wine filtration methods.

“It replaces, or can act as an adjunct to many other common processes,” says Miller. “It can replace sterile filtration, which strips colour and flavour from wine and can add significantly to wine loss. Photopurification also allows for less chemical intervention, either with sulphur, or other substances such as dimethyldicarbonate (DMDC) or pimaricin, the latter which has now to all intents and purposes been banned in the South African wine industry. This has a positive impact on the environment and on consumers’ well-being.”

Miller points out that focusing on reducing sulphur content also serves to ensure a more sustainable and less environmentally invasive approach to wine-making.
With the legal impediment disappearing, many top vineyards are now on board and utilizing the technology for a variety of different applications in the cellar.

Johan Jordaan, Winemaker at Spier Wines, has used the Surepure technology in 2009 and 2010 vintages. “Initially I had used the technology to treat wines that suffered from stuck fermentations prior to restarting them,” he says.  “This wine was passed through the SurePure unit, once and without being filtered.  The VA of this wine was stable and after the successful re-ferment, the wine had no sluggish or stuck ferment odours. I have also used it to stop the fermentation of a Rose to have a higher residual sugar.”

Jordaan believes that there is a place for the SurePure technology in the market and that one can produce outstanding wines with low sulphur, provided that you follow the fundamental rules of chemistry to preserve your wines. 

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