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October 2019 // PACKAGING SYSTEMS

Top marks in wine production The Wine-Store-Age IBC successfully passes tests in the vineyards

Tobias Hahn is extremely satisfied with the result of
the practical test of the Wine Store Age IBCs provided by Schütz. Photo: Weingut Hahn
Selters / Gundersheim (hds).- Vinification is what experts call winemaking and the process of turning either crushed grapes or grape must into wine. There are fundamental differences in the individual process steps needed to produce white wine and red wine. But what both types of wine have in common is that they demand know-how and the application of great skill on the part of the winegrowers.

Equipment also plays an important role, including the containers that are used for wine production immediately after the harvest: stainless steel tanks, concrete tanks, barrels – and now also IBCs. In 2017, Schütz, a leading global producer of bulk packaging, launched a product specifically for use in wine production: the Wine-Store-Age IBC, a model from the Schütz Foodcert line which is certified in accordance with the very highest industrial standard for foods, FSSC 22000. It has an EVOH permeation barrier that prevents oxygen, nitrogen and other gases from permeating in and out of the container. With a filling volume of up to 1,000 litres, this IBC can be optimally used in many phases of wine production. It is suitable for the storage of must to mash fermentation, for maturation, subsequent ripening, storage or for the transport of grape must, young wine or finished wine.

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  • Tobias Hahn is extremely satisfied with the result of the practical test of the Wine Store Age IBCs provided by Schütz. Photo: Weingut Hahn
  • A real alternative for the maturation and storage of wine: the Schütz Wine-Store-Age IBC. Photo: SCHÜTZ
  • Thanks to the Security-Layer Technology, where up to six functional layers can be extruded at once, the fine wines are optimally protected. Illustration: SCHÜTZ
  • The Wine-Store-Age IBC from Schütz also convinced winegrowers in a practical application. Photo: SCHÜTZ



Top marks in wine production

The Wine-Store-Age IBC successfully passes tests in the vineyards

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First successful test “down under”

 

These outstanding characteristics were confirmed three years ago in a series of tests conducted by experts from the Australian Wine Research Institute on the red wine variety Shiraz which is frequently grown here. In Germany, tests run in 2016/17 at the Department of Oenology at the globally renowned University of Geisenheim with selected Rheingau Rieslings in the IBC were highly successful. Another advantage of this IBC is that compared to conventional containers, winegrowers save storage space, simplify logistics and reduce costs along their supply chains.

 

The one thing still missing was a practical test in German vineyards across as many wine-growing regions as possible. That is why Schütz asked winegrowers to take part in an IBC test for the 2018 production. A large number of innovative winegrowers who were keen to experiment took up the challenge and applied. After an exceptionally early harvest, the selected businesses started blending and maturing batches of what promises to be the “vintage of the century” thanks to an exceptionally hot summer.

 

The impressive results of this call for participants were five wine-growing regions, nine wineries and over 20 wines. The packaging expert from Selters now has the first results of the production tests with the Wine-Store-Age IBC conducted by experienced winegrowers from traditional wineries. What is particularly pleasing is that all reports and evaluations submitted by the professionals are exceptionally positive!

 

Highly satisfactory results with the IBC test in Rhine-Hesse

 

Tobias Hahn, of the winery Weingut Hahn, located in Gundersheim in Rhine-Hesse, Germany's largest wine-growing region, also tested the IBC. His motto, “Preserve tradition, but also be open to new ideas”, is the source of his love of experimentation, which is always underpinned with a calm and steady approach. Hahn is particularly interested in fermentation and allows each wine the time it needs to develop and mature.


An interest in technology and experimentation


Tobias Hahn took over the vineyard in Rhine-Hesse between Alzey and Worms from his parents in 2010. Even as a child he would help in the vineyards, and it eventually became his dream vocation. But he wasn’t satisfied with “only” being a master winemaker; he is also state-certified oenologist as well as a motor mechanic – Hahn is a man with a real passion for technology! That made him the ideal tester for the Schütz team. The 40-year-old experienced the Wine-Store-Age IBC as an extremely flexible container that could be moved quickly from one location to another with a forklift truck. Another plus for Hahn: “We collaborate with a large bottling plant, and the wines can be produced, matured and then immediately transported there, without having to pump them from one container to another. The winegrower used the IBCs provided by Schütz for maturing a variety of wines – a Portugieser Rosé, a Kerner and a Bacchus – that represent good cross-section of the grapes grown in this region. All wines have already been bottled and have gone on sale. So far, the response of all the wine drinkers who have sampled them has been “positive without exception”, says Hahn.


On the test sheet, he wrote that the fermentation had been steady and consistent. A nice additional benefit was that he was able to observe the process from the outside for the first time, as the containers are transparent. Hahn also liked the fact that he was able to move the IBCs into the cooler yard at night and back into the warehouse during the day. He was also able to spray the IBCs with water in order to cool them without any problems. Another additional advantage was that "thanks to the very large DN 225 opening, we were able to add the necessary yeast nutrient preparations easily.”