Dolphin Liquid Ring Vacuum Pumps and Compressors Promote Quality in Bottled Wines

Santo Domingo, Argentina Oxygen plays a significant role in the winemaking process. At the wrong time, however, it reduces the quality and longevity of wine. The Argentinian winemaking cooperative La Federación de Cooperativas Vivinícolas Argentinas (FeCoVitA) uses Dolphin liquid ring vacuum pumps from Busch to de-aerate during bottling, ensuring the high quality of its wines.

Oxygen is an essential part of the winemaking process and has many beneficial sides. For example, dissolved oxygen in the freshly pressed juice can soften a wine and make colour more stable. In early fermentation, oxygen is also essential for healthy yeast development. Too much oxygen, however, and the wine will develop a "vinegary" character or smell "off". This can happen in any one of the numerous steps following early fermentation, such as racking (filtering), pumping, and filling into barrels or tanks (especially if these are not completely filled) – and crucially, bottling.

The culprit is acetic acid, which is produced when bacteria oxidize the alcohol contained in the wine. In order to counteract this, winemakers add sulphur dioxide, an antioxidant. Virtually all wines contain at least one antioxidant. By reducing unnecessary contact with air, or de-aerating during bottling, less sulphur dioxide can be used, resulting in a better tasting wine.

The large-scale wine cooperative FeCoVitA uses Dolphin liquid ring vacuum pumps from Busch to remove oxygen from the surface of the wine prior to corking.

Dolphin liquid ring vacuum pumps are a versatile solution, available in a range of sizes and with a wide range of accessories and workshop options that allow the vacuum pumps to be adapted to virtually any process. Based on liquid ring technology, Dolphin vacuum pumps use water as an operating fluid. This forms a so-called liquid ring in the vacuum pump that encloses the compression chamber and forms an airtight seal. The eccentric mounting of the impeller causes this chamber to expand as it rotates, drawing gas into the inlet. Further rotation reduces the volume of the chamber, compressing and expelling the gas through the pump outlet.

Dolphin liquid ring vacuum pumps are widely used in filling applications, including counterpressure filler systems for carbonated drinks or among bottlers of beer.

FeCoVitA bottles and markets the wines produced by around 5,000 winegrowers, representing 29 cooperatives. It exports to over 40 countries in the world. The cooperative is based in Maipú, the capital of Mendoza Province.

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