Fast Facts – Pinking

by | Feb 17, 2021 | Relevant Resources, Fact Sheets

Facts about pinking

  • The exact mechanism of pinking is still unknown. It involves the oxidation of one or more phenolic compounds in the presence of metals such as iron and copper.
  • Pinking affects various white cultivars, especially Sauvignon blanc.
  • Wines differ in their susceptibility for pinking.
  • Pinking can sometimes alter the taste of a wine (new research results).
  • Pinking can be prevented.
Harvest winemaking practices that increase a wine’s susceptibility for pinking:
  • Increasing grape ripeness
  • Cold processing (more dissolved oxygen)
  • Whole bunch pressing (stems contain high concentrations of phenolic compounds)
  • Reductive winemaking
  • High pH (less molecular SO2)
Practical advice on how to prevent pinking in susceptible musts and wines:
  • Consider using products that contain PVPP (lowers phenolic content) or PVI/PVP (lowers heavy metals) as a preventative measure before or during fermentation. Suppliers can advise.
  • Maintain a high (45 mg/l) free SOenvironment before and after fermentation when the wine is off the yeast lees, and during all movements of the wine until it is in the bottle.
  • Maintain a low dissolved oxygen environment in the wine after it is off the yeast lees, especially after a movement where oxygen pick up can take place.
  • Sparge the wine before bottling to remove oxygen.
  • Consider adding ascorbic acid before bottling. Great care must be taken with the use of ascorbic acid as it can also promote oxidation under certain conditions. Suppliers can advise.

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