Nitrogen generators from CAPS are helping wineries retain the aroma and
character of wine during the production process and storage.
Nitrogen is widely used in the food industry to keep products fresh in
storage, for protection during production, and also in packaging. Nitrogen is a
tried and tested method in wine production for preventing unwanted oxidation.
The Sauvignon Blanc grape reacts with oxygen with the oxidisation
leading to the loss of aroma and causing unpleasant discolouration in yellow
and brown tones. A recent German study examined the benefits of consistent
inertisation as against only partial nitrogen atmospheres or atmospheres that
do not contain any nitrogen at all. In the controlled trial for the study, three
batches of grapes were processed with standard and inert gas presses. A portion
of the must was then turned into wine through reductive procedures without any exposure
to oxygen. Another portion of the must was processed normally, which involved
contact with atmospheric oxygen. A partial quantity of this portion was in turn
treated with ascorbic acid – the conventional method of extracting oxygen from
When the consistent inert production and standard production processes
were compared, there were clear benefits for all three wines from the
inertisation: a higher content of aromatic substances, which could clearly be attributed
to consistent inert processing of the grape until reaching the bottle.
When using the inert gas press, there is a higher content of both aromatic
substances as well as phenols. This increase in phenols makes it even more
important that the must and subsequent wine continue to be processed in the
absence of oxygen. If the phenols do not oxidise, the Sauvignon Blanc remains
clear with no occurrence of the high chromaticity indicated as the yellow and
brown discolouration untypical of the grape.
In addition to colour, nitrogen also helps preserve the flavour. If it
is pressed inertly, the must contains more glutathione, an antioxidant that
benefits yeast vitality during fermentation. Glutathione also protects valuable
aromas and improves storage stability for the bottled wines. All of the wines
from the trial were presented to qualified wine tasters at a blind tasting six
weeks after bottling. These wine tasters rated the aroma and flavour using a
The wine tasting revealed that the wine that had been completely
produced in a nitrogen atmosphere was perceived as especially aromatic (high
degree of minerality, lemon aromas, green pepper and exotic fruits). The wine,
which was only pressed inertly but matured in a normal atmosphere, lost these
characteristics due to contact with oxygen.
The tasters rated the inertly pressed and the inertly vinified wines as
typical of the Sauvignon Blanc grape. The latter was mainly expressed when
tasting was repeated after one and a half years. The distinctive character of
the Sauvignon Blancs that were not consistently inertly vinified was rated
A key outcome of the trial was the finding that consistent nitrogen
treatment makes it possible to create particularly fresh, clear and
qualitatively improved white wines.
On-site nitrogen generation with
CAPS’ INMATEC nitrogen generator
Nitrogen can be easily generated on-site from ambient air in an
environment-friendly way using a nitrogen generator.
Give your wine the best treatment and free
yourself from tanks, bundles, bottles and supply shortages with direct nitrogen
generation from a Caps Australia supplied INMATEC nitrogen generator.