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Tag Archives | chemistry

Vineyard in Bordeaux with grass and grass removed

Corsican wine region bans glyphosate

The discussion about the future of glyphosate continues. It is very contested if glyphosate is dangerous or not at all dangerous (when properly used). In 2022, it will again be on the EU agenda, until then it is allowed. But France (at least the government, but not all farmers) wants to ban glyphosate before that. […]

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Champagne bottles that are organic, "bio"

New rules for additives in organic wine

New rules came into force for vinification of organic wines on January 1st, 2019. Six new additives are allowed. Autolysate of yeast: Nourishes the yeast during the alcoholic and malolactic fermentation. Inactivated yeast: Nourishes the yeast during alcoholic and malolactic fermentation. Potato protein: Vegetable protein used as a fining agent. Provides a faster and often […]

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Spraying in Clos des Goisses, Champagne

Oil spray in the vineyard to fight weeds

During our spring wine tours we have visited the small and interesting Champagne house Philipponnat. On our visit in early May we saw people working in their prestigious vineyard Clos des Goisses with knapsack sprayers on their backs. Obviously they were doing some kind of treatment. It turned out to be weed control with a […]

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Glyphosate, a herbicide to be allowed, or not?

The debate around glyphosate continues. The product is used as an herbicide, in for instance Roundup. It has been, since a while back, on EU’s list of unsafe products that maybe should be phased out. It is now time to renew the permit for its use (which is done every ten years for pesticides). This […]

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Stricter rules in Austria for spraying with copper

Organic producers are criticized for their use of copper in the vineyards. The EU allows 6 kilograms of copper per hectare and per year for organic producers, as we mentioned recently (Organic viticulture: How do you use less copper?). But one of our readers, Gottfried Lamprecht, an organic wine producers in southern Austria, has pointed […]

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Tractor equipped for spraying

Spraying of vineyards: 26 active substances should be replaced, says EU commission

The European Commission has recently published a list of 26 active substances used in viticulture that should eventually be replaced, because of their danger to people or the environment. On the list are copper sulphate, copper hydroxide, copper oxide chloride and copper oxide. All of these are used for spraying against fungal diseases, especially downy […]

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Organic viticulture: How do you use less copper?

It does not matter if you are organic or not. All vineyards can suffer from various diseases. Against certain fungal diseases, downy mildew for example, you can spray with copper, usually in the form of copper sulphate. Both organic and conventional growers use copper but the conventional ones can also, or instead, use synthetic chemical […]

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Spraying with helicopter

Copper, less dangerous than we think? Or not?

At the end of May, the EU Commission will decide whether to keep the present levels of copper permitted for organic growers or if the levels should be reduced. Currently, organic growers are allowed to use a maximum of six kilograms of copper per year and per hectare. Or more precisely, it is counted as […]

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Mandatory spraying in the vineyard

It can be costly to refuse to spray against the grasshopper that spread the disease flavescence corée. Flavescence dorée is a bacterial disease that weakens the vine. The only thing you can do to prevent the disease from spreading is to remove the infected vines and to use insecticide against the grasshopper that spread the […]

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Cork in an ice cold bottle of grappa

A new device to preserve an opened bottle of wine

Coravin lets you drink the wine without pulling the cork. At a price. There are various devices that you can use to keep your wine longer after you have opened the bottles and a new one has just arrived. Let’s first look at what exists today. Vacuum pumps Some work with a “vacuum” (to be […]

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Replacing sulphur

Is it possible to replace the antioxidant and anti-bacterial properties of sulphur with a preservative made from grape seeds? Yes, that is the idea of Intergrapes in Italy after seven years of study. They claim that the preservative is as effective as sulphur and that the wine better retains its natural flavours. Moreover, says Intergrapes, […]

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Sandy soil in a vineyard in Castile and Leon in Spain

Copper harms beneficial bacteria

Copper is an effective way to fight the fungal disease mildiou. However, spraying too much copper in the vineyard is not good for the soil and the water and this has been known a long time. Now researchers have discovered another problem with copper. Spraying copper can affect the bacterial flora and the yeast population […]

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Cleaning barrels with sulphur and a candle

Will a centuries old tradition in winemaking disappear?

The use of sulphur to be banned? To disinfect oak barrels by burning sulphur inside is a century old tradition.  Now the procedure could become illegal. According to the EU rules sulphur tablets is classified as biocides, which means that they must have obtained an authorization to be allowed on the market. And to get […]

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Wine chemists’ conference

In Vino Analytica Scientia” is an international symposium focusing on wine chemistry and sensory analysis. The next edition will take place on 2-4 July 2009 in Anger in the Loire Valley. They will be calling for papers on related themes: chemical and biochemical reactions and analysis, authentification and traceability, sensors and chemometrics, sensory analysis,… More […]

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