Courtesty of The Indian Wine Academy

An Italian company claiming to have developed a process of making wine without sulphites by using preservatives derived from grape pips, demonstrated the results at ‘Vini Senza Solfiti Integrapes’at the recently concluded edition of Vinitaly, giving hope to several wine lovers especially in India,who may get a chance to drink wine as it might also reduce headaches caused by Sulphites in wine.

The company Integrapes has been testing an anti-oxidant and anti-bacterial preservative derived from grape pips that it claims is as effective as sulphur. The product was on display at the recently concluded Vinitaly at Pavilion (Pad.) 10 in the area “Trendy oggi, Big domani” (trendy today, big tomorrow) with ‘Vini Senza Solfiti Integrapes’ where the visitors could taste white, red and sparkling wines made with the new process.

Derived from the polyphenols found naturally in grape seeds, the resulting solution is added to the must and wine at various points in the winemaking process. One liter of the preservative is essentially added to every 20 hL of wine at the end of the alcoholic and then malolactic fermentations and then prior to bottling.

The resulting wine is then non-sulphuric but reportedly has the potential to age, something many “natural” wines are criticized for not doing. The company claims that the wine is supposed to retain more of its natural aromas, particularly the more delicate floral aromas that sulphur usually masks.

According to a report in the Drinks Business, the company had been experimenting and conducting trials for the past seven years and claims to have wines from those vintages which are still drinkable. Donatello Calaprice, the Commercial director of Integrapes reportedly describes the method as a form of “homeopathy”. The process is available for red, white and sparkling wines.

The product has been endorsed by one of Italy’s leading wine writers Luca Maroni, who has been collaborating in the on-going tests. He has stated: ‘I have tasted hundreds of wines from around the world developed without sulphur dioxide but so far each of these has turned out to be, irreversibly, off, oxidized or stained by enological processing defects which compromise the integrity of the fruit. Then I tasted the first white wine produced with the Integrapes method and the fruit was blameless, pure and oxidatively still intact.’

Maroni has been a consultant to Vinitaly since 2000. He manages an important and large 500 sq mts. area, with the initiative TRENDY TODAY BIG TOMORROW: the selection of the best Italian producers who are relatively newcomers, curated by Luca Maroni.

Many wine lovers in India are deprived of enjoying wine because of the headaches it brings on, especially red wines.Generally, this is attributed to sulphites in wine although a study has also shown recently that the Asians are more amenable to such headaches because of their genes.