WISA’s inaugural Wine Industry Impact Awards recognise the impact wine industry suppliers have on the capabilities and competitiveness of Australian wine producers. BHF were joint finalists with Vinpac International in the wine packaging category.
The winners were announced at a gala dinner on October 20 at the National Wine Centre, Adelaide, with Blue H2O and Vinpac taking home the award.
This article goes into more detail about how Blue H2O and Vinpac secured a nomination for the award.
For years the relationship between filtration and wine quality has been hotly debated. It is agreed that all of the particulates known to affect flavour and aroma are small enough to pass through the 0.45um filter media generally used in the final filtration of wine. However, some purists maintain that filtration affects subtler characteristics, which they refer to as a wine’s “soulfulness”. In the words of The Castle‘s Dennis Denuto, “it’s the vibe and – no that’s it, it’s the vibe.”
Tim Patterson wrote an excellent overview of the debate way back in 2008. So far (surprisingly) there has been no reliable sensory study undertaken in a controlled environment, and the debate continues.
However, in a recent workshop at AWITC in Adelaide, we carried out an uncontrolled experiment on a 2015 Barossa Shiraz Cabernet at 6 production stages. Samples and associated data were provided by Vinpac international.
Comments were most positive towards the final product, which had been passed through the final 0.45um PES membrane. Tasters claimed that the filtered wine displayed significantly improved colour and aromatics. It seemed to indicate that, contrary to popular belief, filtration can improve wine quality rather than degrading it, and it would be interesting to see the results of a controlled sensory study.
The Australian wine export market, which in 2013 accounted for over 65% of all sales, has recently seen some positive market signals, including a low Australian dollar, an increase in imports of Australian wine by China, and the signing and implementation of Trade Agreements between Australia and trading partners China, Japan, and Korea. According to wine industry law firm Finlaysons, Australian winemaking is at a crossroads, with some operators contemplating closing due to price pressure, while others are viewing the climate as an opportunity to expand operations and invest in capital. As suppliers to the industry we have witnessed expansion and growth in many wine production operations.
Filtration plays a significant role in bottling plants. Apart from the product itself, filtration can apply to the water used to clean bottles and air and gas required for the bottling process. The aim is to prevent microbes and contaminants reaching the finished product, and thus reduce the chances of spoilage. As more and more Australian wine is being exported, and given the significant lag between production and consumption for exported wine, product stability and shelf-life have become increasingly important factors.