There’s always a better way to do something, even if that something is steeped in tradition and lore. Yesterday, winemakers stomped on grapes in their bare feet. Today, thanks to Rudy Zuidema, they can blow them up. Napa Valley Register has more:
His new business, Flash Wine Technologies, offers a cutting-edge method of extracting color and taste from wine grapes. In partnership with his wife, Amy Zuidema, Rudy plans to use the flash détente system to help both larger and smaller wineries reap the benefits that come from this form of extraction.
“A lot of the winemakers are aware of it, and we just saw the value and the potential of this new technology,” Amy Zuidema said. “We put all the pieces together, did a ton of research, and think it’s worthwhile.”
The couple explained that flash détente first places red wine must, or the juice from grapes before it is fermented, in a high-heat chamber. Juice — not skins — is then separated and heated to a core of about 190 F. Slowly, the skins are introduced to the juice and they instantly match the temperature inside of the heat chamber, bypassing many of the problematic temperatures at which bacteria thrive.
In a vacuum chamber, grapes explode as their temperature is brought down to about 80 F. From there, the must can be delivered directly to a press in order to remove the seeds and skins to keep only the juice.
A barrel-fermented cabernet is another option for winemakers, since there is no need for the skins after the flash. All of the positive attributes that the skins possess are made available through flash détente, the Zuidemas said. There is no more color or tannin left to extract; it is all made available through the flash process.