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Winery & Vineyard Application

Ozone has become a standard for sanitation in the winery and vineyard industry. California wineries looked to ozone for sanitation solutions and their efforts have continued to revolutionize the wine industry with new advancements in ozone sanitation. This research, combined with other states have documented the efficacy of ozone in barrels, bottling lines, tanks and many other winery and vineyard applications. Hundreds of wineries worldwide are using ozone for their sanitation systems. Sanitation systems can be designed to meet the needs of any size winery.

Ozone the Versatile Organic Sanitizer in the Winery

Sanitation plays a critical role in winemaking. Historically, wineries have used chlorine (and/or other halogen chemicals) and heat (hot water and/or steam) for sanitation, but both of these methods have drawbacks and restrictions.

The high energy cost of generating heat and the harmful byproducts associated with halogen chemicals have made their use problematic. Many winemakers have chosen to completely eliminate the use of chlorine and other halogenated compounds to avoid the formation of TCA (2, 4, 6-trichoroanisole) and other aromatic halogenated hydrocarbons which impact wine flavors.

Ozone has several characteristics that make it excellent for winery sanitation.

  • Ozone is a stand-alone organic sanitizer which simplifies sanitation, is cost effective, safe to use, saves water and energy, and is environmentally friendly.
  • Ozone is produced as needed on site, dissipates after use and minimizes the purchase, storage, mixing and disposal of chemicals.
  • Ozone is a cold sanitizer which saves energy, extends barrel flavors, and minimizes bottling line maintenance costs and cool down cycles.
  • Ozone kills a much broader spectrum bacteria, fungus and molds, yeasts, spores and cysts Organisms Killed by Ozone) from 10 to 5000 times faster than halogenated chemicals (chorine, iodine, etc.).
  • Ozone was approved by a FDA Expert Panel as GRAS (generally recognized as safe) for use as a sanitizer in 1997 and was approved by FDA for use with fruits, vegetables, meat, poultry, etc. in June 2001 (food additive petition).
  • Ozone was approved under USDA Organic Rule in 2000.
  • Ozone reverts to molecular oxygen, leaving no by-products or residual contaminants.
  • Ozone unlike halogenated chemicals (i.e. chlorine, iodine, etc.) ozone does not generate TCA precursors or dangerous halogenated hydrocarbon byproducts, such as THMís.
  • Ozone destroys objectionable taste and odor causing compounds.
  • Ozone is pH neutral, (does not change the acid/alkaline balance).

Application of Ozone in the Winery

Ozone has become a single source organic sanitizer in the winery. Its use allows the winemaker to produce a better product through the control of spoilage organisms, mold and mildew in the winery. Winery applications include the following:

Barrel Sanitation and Storage

Hundreds of wineries utilize ozone sanitation systems and aqueous ozone protocols to eliminate and prevent the return of microbial spoilage organisms (i.e. Brettanomyces, Acetobacter, malolactic and lactobacillus, etc.) in barrels. No rinsing after the sanitation is required which reduces sanitation times and water usage.

Gaseous ozone is being utilized to maintain healthy barrel and wooden uprights during storage eliminating the use of sulfur and sulfur dioxide. Protocols for the safe use of both aqueous and gaseous ozone in barrels and wooden uprights have been developed and are available to clients.

Tank and Press Sanitation

The use of aqueous ozone in the sanitation of wood, stainless, polycarbonate tanks and press equipment is a common application of ozone in wineries. Ozone, utilized with proper protocols and CT values provides effective and rapid sanitation of tanks and presses. In addition, when used in a tank recirculation mode, ozone can save hundreds of gallons of water during the tank sanitation process. The breakdown of ozone to oxygen does not result in tank damage as is often the case with chorine. No rinsing after the sanitation is required which reduces time and water usage. Protocols for the safe use of aqueous ozone in tanks and presses have been developed and are available to clients.

Bottling Line Sanitation

Conserving water and energy and maintaining bottling line sterility are a major concern for wineries. The unique "cold sterilization" ability of ozone, combined with its non-contaminating qualities and low water use, make it an excellent alternative to steam and hot water. The expansion and contraction of bottling line components created by heat contribute to the long term stress and damage to bottling lines. The use of cold aqueous water eliminates these stresses resulting in less bottling line downtime and maintenance cost. Protocols for the safe use of aqueous ozone in bottling lines have been developed and are available to clients.

Hose, Transfer Line, Valve, Barrel Bung and Pump Sanitation

Preventing the transfer of spoilage organisms in the winery is important to wine quality and a major concern of the winemaker. Aqueous ozone can be utilized to quickly sanitize all equipment which comes into wine contact eliminating the movement of unwanted microbes within the winery. Protocols for the safe use of aqueous ozone for winery equipment have been developed and are available to clients.

Surface Sanitation

Sanitizing winery floors, walls, drains and other surfaces with aqueous ozone reduces microbes (fungi, yeast, and bacteria), maintains a sanitary winery, and eliminates background odors. Protocols for the safe use of aqueous ozone for surface sanitation have been developed and are available to clients.

Air Sanitation and Vector Control

The use of gaseous ozone to control mold, airborne spoilage organisms and odors is a common practice in wineries. Gaseous ozone has also been shown to control fruit flies which are not only a nuisance but are also major vectors in the movement of spoilage organisms around the winery. Protocols for the safe and effective use of gaseous ozone have been developed and are available to clients.

Application of Ozone in the Vineyard

Early empirical information on ozone in the vineyard has shown its ability to control mold, mildew and some pests when applied correctly. Ozoneís USDA organic listing and low environmental impact make it an alternative to the use of less environmentally friendly chemical treatments. In addition, ozone does not require a harvest wait time and can be utilized immediately prior to harvest.

From everyday sanitation to mold and mildew control, Ozone is the perfect solution for your winery and vineyard sanitation requirement. Contact us today to learn how ozone equipment can help you sanitize simply and naturally.