Several steps are necessary for making wine. These traditional methods (punching down or pumping over) are long to carry out and the quality of the wine can be deteriorated.
Keeping in mind that saving time and making good quality is important, Vinifair company wanted to develop a new vinification method for red and white wines. This system had to be:
- reliable, to last as long as possible
- reusable, to be economically competitive
- food grade compliant, so as not to alter the quality of the wine,
- and tailor-made, to adapt to any type of tank.
In 2013, the company used flexible air-inflated cubitainers to compensate the lack of wine in one of their tanks. This principle then gives them the idea of using inflatable compensators. Luckily, by searching the internet and at trade shows, they found PRONAL.
The solution, the inflatable compensator
The company then approached Pronal, for the production of inflatable compensators, also called wine-making balloons. With this new winemaking system, the winemakers can compensate the missing volume by inflating the balloons and avoid mixing wines from several tanks. They can also ensure total immersion of the marc cap and extend the maceration away from oxidation.
Vinifair now offers different forms of inflatable wine balloons. Each of them is adapted to the complex shapes of wine tanks. We can find :
- Donuts, toroidal, for tanks with a central chimney,
- Donuts open in the form of “Horseshoe”, for centered troughs and flags,
- the parallelepiped shapes, etc…
In this specific case, the inflatable compensators were made of polyurethane. This waterproof material has food properties and does not affect the quality of wine or other liquids. This innovative system is completely autonomous and comes with its pressure regulation unit. The inflation and deflation of the wine-making balloons follow each other according to the variation in the volume of the wine. These actions are also linked to the different stages of winemaking. The accessories of the products are made of stainless steel.
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