Tea instead of sulphur to protect the wine

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A few years ago, we wrote in the Brief about the South African wine producer KWV who had made a wine called Earth’s Essence without added sulphur. Instead, they had used the rooibos plant, known for its antioxidant properties.

Continued research in South Africa has now shown that the South African tea plant honeybush also has antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. In both cases, it is important to ensure that the two plants don’t give any tea flavours to the wine.

Researches have now developed a soluble powdered tannin extract from honeybush that is totally tasteless. This extract is added in small quantities, around 2 grams per 100 litres for white wines. This additive is said to protect the wine so well that no sulphites need to be added.

Read more wine-za.

Protecting the wine from oxidation and other nefarious attacks that can spoil it is an active area of research. Recently adding “dead yeast cells”, which is no more scary than dry cell walls, was given green light as anti-oxidant.

Travel: Travel to South Africa’s wine lands with on a wine tour with BKWine.

A barrel that has been treated with sulphur
A barrel that has been treated with sulphur, copyright BKWine Photography
Sign on a tank: contains sulphur
Sign on a tank: contains sulphur, copyright BKWine Photography
Sulphur pellets to clean barrels
Sulphur pellets to clean barrels, copyright BKWine Photography
Cleaning barrels with sulphur and a candle
Cleaning barrels with sulphur and a candle, copyright BKWine Photography

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