A Whiff of Brett in a Barrel, Gelatinous Blobs in Wine and Caustic Gin – Testing Times – August 2017

Vintessential Laboratories are dedicated to helping our winery customers discover winemaking problems early, understand them, and then fix them. At our five laboratories around Australia we test hundreds of samples every week, so there’s hardly a problem we haven’t seen. Every month we bring you some of the recent problems that have been sent to […]

Fizzing Red and Tartrate Stabilisation – Testing Times – June 2017

This month – Red Wine Fizzing and Tartrate Stabilisation with CMC Vintessential Laboratories are dedicated to helping our winery customers discover winemaking problems early, understand them, and then fix them. At our five laboratories around Australia we test hundreds of samples every week, so there’s hardly a problem we haven’t seen. Every month we bring you […]

Obscuration, Unsatisfactory Bentonite and Sulfur Dioxide Strikes Again! – Testing Times May 2017

Introduction This month we look at some more curly issues we’ve received in the lab. Helping to solve them has involved some intricacies of testing and we’ve had to call upon our many years’ experience in sorting out some of these problems in our own laboratories. Sulfur dioxide test problems – again!        Many wineries do […]

Testing gives results

Greg Howell Vintessential Laboratories Introduction Some, but by no means all, samples we receive in our laboratories cause quite a bit of interest for us and quite some angst for our winemaker clients. These samples and how they are tested can present some interesting case studies in what can go wrong in the winemaking process. […]

Problem wines we've recently seen…

Greg Howell Introduction As a wine consulting laboratory business, now with labs in five States of Australia, we deal with many wineries and many thousands of wines every year. Most of these wines are of good quality; however a very small minority have some issues that need our help. Our job is to investigate what […]

Interwinery Analysis Group finds best test for sugars in wine

Carly Gamble and Greg Howell Introduction Determining the sugar content of juice and wine is an essential part of the winemaking process.  Glucose and fructose are the most abundant sugars naturally present in grapes and they are also fermentable sugars – their presence in finished wine leaving the wine susceptible to spoilage.  Accurate monitoring of […]

Safety considerations in your wine lab this vintage

Greg Howell Vintessential Laboratories Vintessential has built and opened three new wine testing laboratories in the past year – in Orange New South Wales, Hobart Tasmania and the Margaret River region of Western Australia. If our experience is any guide, your lab may be working outside the requirements of the appropriate Australian Standards! A winery […]

Acetaldehyde – how to limit its formation during fermentation

Steve Byrne and Greg Howell Vintessential Laboratories Introduction Although most winemakers are aware of acetaldehyde, it still causes some negative impacts on wine quality. It is the main carbonyl compound formed in wine during fermentation, although it can also be produced in wine via other mechanisms. High levels of this aldehyde can have poor sensory […]

Ethyl acetate – a misunderstood fermentation problem

Steve Byrne and Greg Howell Vintessential Laboratories Introduction Ethyl acetate has long been associated with wine spoilage, imparting a distinct nail polish remover aroma to affected wine. Although a common taint, it has not traditionally been a very common test in our labs. One reason for this may be due to misconceptions about how it […]

Livestock Water Testing

DO YOU KNOW THE QUALITY OF YOUR LIVESTOCK  WATER Water quality guidelines recommended for livestock consumption have been developed by the National Water Quality Management Strategy and are based on the Australian Water Quality Guidelines for Fresh and Marine Waters, November 1992 (ANZECC). The guidelines cover several water parameters that should be analysed to ensure […]