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- Flash Wine Technologies
Flash Détente is a device used to extract color and flavor from wine grapes using extreme heat, followed by rapid cooling in a vacuum chamber, literally exploding the grape and the cell walls that contain the pigments and flavenoids. It has been in the global industry for 20 years, but only since 2010 has it been in the United States.There are many attractions to this system.- During the process 3-5% of the volume is blown off in the form of steam. This loss of water will increase the sugar content in the juice concentrating the flavors and can create a thicker, more complex wine.- The steam that is blown off is comprised of water (flash water) containing the heaviest molecules having the longest flavor chains. These long chain molecules are the least desirable in that they are typically comprised of methoxy-pyrazines which are the vegetal, green bell pepper, and asparagus flavors.- During the rapid heating and cooling process problematic microbes and proteins such as brettanocyces, acetobacer, and laccase caused by rot or mildew are eliminated or denatured leaving the juice virtually sterile.- 100% of the yeast available nitrogen is extracted, leaving the must very ready to start and complete a healthy fermentation.- Wine quality can be greatly improved from grapes that are in a poor growing location, poor state of health, improperly farmed, or suffering from the effects of a difficult vintage year in their region.Our goal is to bring this tool to smaller wineries. The two other machines in California have a 30 ton per hour capacity and require a 30 ton minimum volume to start up. The machine we will be using has a 10 ton per hour capacity and will need only 10 tons to start. This will allow most wineries to use the technology to improve the wine quality of small lots coming from shaded vineyard sites, north or west facing slopes, heavy soil sites, or vineyards with declining health or virus issues. With the current shortage grapes, bulk wines and good fruit sources, this machine will return value to imperfect fruit.More excitingly, through experimentation and research, I found that many wineries will be flashing sound, ripe, healthy grapes to have another blending component to their luxury wine program. These are mid-sized wineries that harvest as few as 200 tons annually. They would like to have a small percentage of many different varieties flashed to create “spice rack” wines that can be sprinkled into many blends.This technology will bring many new possibilities for the winemaker to explore. Since the flashed must can be pressed immediately to ferment as juice, or left on skins in the traditional fashion, there will be many options for fermentation.- Barrel fermenting red wines.- Eliminating pump-overs and opening up tank space.- Cool tank ferments preserving forward fruit.- Fermenting flashed juice on previously used skins from an earlier ferment.Flash Wine Technologies looks forward to working with you and your winemaking team to assist in improving your overall wine program.See the Flash Wine Technologies site for more information.