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Correlating the need for bentonite fining in wine with anomalous weather patterns

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Excessive amounts of protein in wine can lead to haze formation during wine-making. The use of bentonite reduces that risk by removing proteins. Most haze proteins have been identified to be pathogen related, as this fraction is formed as a reaction to stress and infection of the plant. These may be weather related. The aim of this study was to seek correlations between vintage variations and the demand for bentonite in German wines from the Palatinate region. Different climate-related influences and ripening parameters were evaluated to test potential correlations. A feasible link between environmental factors such as temperature, sunshine hours, solar radiation, precipitation, drought index, and water balance was discovered, which explains the amount of bentonite used. More than 1000 wine analyses were used to calculate the average requirement between 2001 and 2010. In years with lower demand, the number of unusual weather events was higher, so it can be inferred that weather anomalies reduce the need for bentonite.
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Keywords: bentonite; climate data; haze; protein instability; wine

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Fermentation Sciences, Appalachian State University, 730 Rivers St., Boone, NC, 28607, USA 2: Department of Viticulture and Enology, State Education and Research Center for Viticulture & Horticulture (DLR – Rheinpfalz), Breitenweg 71, 67435, Neustadt/Weinstra├če, Germany

Publication date: January 2, 2015

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