Successful test in Germany follows after Australia
In 2016/17, Schütz cooperated in testing of the Wine-Store-Age IBC with the Department of Oenology at the globally renowned University of Geisenheim in the Rheingau region. A series of tests carried out there with selected Rheingau Rieslings, blended and matured in this container, were highly successful. As well as the excellent production results, this special IBC for winegrowers and wineries has another key further advantage: compared to conventional containers, winegrowers save storage space, which is an important consideration for traditional vintners located in established wine-growing areas where space is at a premium. Additionally, the IBCs make logistics easier and reduce costs along the producer’s supply chain.
Five wine-growing regions – nine vineyards – over 20 wines tested
Last year before the grape harvest in autumn, Schütz sent out a mailing to German and Austrian winegrowers, asking the decisive question: “Ripe for a new solution?” The globally operating packaging company invited the winegrowers to take part in an IBC test for the 2018 production. The aim of the campaign was to gain a closer understanding of the practical needs of winegrowers and also to hear their views on the container. A large number of innovative winegrowers who were keen to experiment took up the challenge and applied. They came from a wide range of wine-growing regions: Rheinhessen, Pfalz, Moselle, Baden, Württemberg – and one winegrower from Austria. After an exceptionally early harvest, the nine selected businesses started blending and maturing batches of what promises to be the “vintage of the century” thanks to an exceptionally hot summer in many wine regions.
The project managers at Schütz in Selters now have most of the results of the practical production tests with the Schütz Wine-Store-Age IBC. Over 20 wines were tested, of which almost all have been bottled and are on sale. All the reports and assessments submitted by the wine producers were more than satisfactory, and even for wine varieties with strong primary aromas, such as the Rivaner, there were no maturation differences compared to wines stored in stainless steel tanks. The winegrowers themselves – one of whom even consulted an oenologist – were impressed by the results. To the surprise of many, the levels of SO2 (sulphurous acid) measured in the stainless steel tank and in the Wine-Store-Age IBC were almost identical. The wines from the Schütz container were fresher, livelier, cleaner, with a greater emphasis on the fruit and without an oxidative note – in other words, the sensory characteristics were perfect. The summaries were consistently positive, and the winegrowers praised the results. The wines developed well and tasted good even at an early stage. The biological acid conversion, a process that can be negatively impacted by oxygen, was highly satisfactory. The winegrowers’ conclusion was that the material used for the IBC is exceptionally good for wine. There were no limitations or disadvantages compared to other containers, for instance stainless steel tanks. Racking also worked very well with the Schütz container.
The Schütz Wine-Store-Age IBC has a wide range of uses in vineyards: the container can be used in winemaking both for white, rosé and red wines (mash fermentation) as well as for producing raw sparkling wines or for use in autumn, for example when small batches are taken from a large container to stop fermentation. IBCs are also ideal for intermediate storage as the container saves space. Another application frequently mentioned by the winegrowers is transport to external contract filling operations.