Preserving fermentation volatiles

by | Feb 18, 2020 | South Africa Wine Scan

The aim of the study was to preserve fruity fermentation volatiles (esters and alcohols) using a condensation device and to test the stability of these recovered volatiles over time.

Project layout:

  • Sangiovese, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon were fermented with and without a condensation device attached to the tanks.
  • The condensation device included a heat exchanger to recover the volatiles. Volatiles were then added back to the fermenting wines.
  • The tanks were 1000 L stainless steel tanks. There were three control tanks and three condensed tanks.
  • Fermentation temperature was controlled at exactly 32°C, with the help of a refrigeration unit.
  • Red Fruit (Enartis) was used to conduct the fermentations.
  • The wines were pumped over twice daily.
  • All fermentations fermented to dryness.
  • Analyses of the control and condensed wines were done immediately after fermentation as well as after six and 11 months of storage.

Main results:

  • Chemical analyses at all three time points revealed an increase in fruity alcohols and esters.
  • Sensory analyses confirmed the chemical results and significant differences were detected by the sensory panel between control and condensed wines. The judges did not indicate their preference so it is unclear if the increase in fruity esters were seen as a positive or not.

Significance of the study:

The study found that the increase in fruity volatiles that are achieved by using the condensation device were still significant and distinguishable chemically and sensorially after 12 months of ageing.


Guerrini L., Masella P., Angeloni G., Baldi F., Calamai L., Parenti A., 2019, Stability of Volatile Compounds Recovered During the Winemaking Process, Chemical Engineering Transactions, 75, 49-54.

Image: Shutterstock

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors