Image © Vintech Pacific
Ultrafiltration technology is offered in New Zealand exclusively by Vintech Pacific. This is an advanced membrane technology that allows the ultra finetuning of wine, particularly by the elective adjustment of aroma, flavour, tannin and colour compounds in wine.
In Ultrafiltration, wine is passed tangentially over a membrane of specific permeability where undesirable compounds can be selectively removed based on molecular weight, while desirable components are retained in the wine.
Ultrafiltration is superior to other techniques used to address browning, tannin removal or minimising botrytis character. Fining agents indiscriminately remove valuable phenolics, resulting in loss of aroma, mouth-feel and varietal character. Use of these agents also results in higher volume losses due to the lees they create. In contrast, ultrafiltration minimizes losses while producing valuable by-products for use in other wines.
Ultra-filtration is a great tool for winemakers to increase the concentration of a wine while still
keeping the wine balanced. This technology is especially helpful in cooler growing seasons where colour concentration is below normal. Quality increases dramatically with about 5–10 percent concentration. It also increases the colour and depth of the wine.
With ultrafiltration, only a portion of the wine may need to be treated to economically improve the quality. There is simply no other quality improvement method that offers so much versatility.