Excerpt from WBM Magazine May 2014 Edition…
Paul Baggio, managing director,
Della Toffola Pacific and Australian and New Zealand Winemakers
What’s hot in terms of filtration equipment?
Filter investments that can do everything for the winemaker. Only up until recently the thought of a commercially viable crossflow filter that can process wine lees, yet also juice lees, removing RDVs and of course the same unit filtering wine, was a dream – the dream to remove all DE/Perlite from the winery is possible.
What are some of the trends with filtration?
The subject of high solids, in particular juice lees, float lees and wine lees is of big interest. We have sold a couple of machines; a plant sold to Giesen in New Zealand is the largest in commercial operation for us. We have been working with high solids crossflow for many years in Australia, using an interchangeable wide bore ceramic membrane, which has been achieving a good result with wine. The big challenge, however, has always been to consistently in automatic process (with the same wide bore membrane) flotation solids and cold settled juice lees. These last years with the Della Toffola Omnia range of ceramic crossflow filters, we have been able to deliver a solution. The realisation of a filter plant that can commercially separate not only wine from wine lees, but also provide clean juice from floated solids and extract quality juice from cold settled juice lees and when all is done, also work as a normal crossflow filter for standard wine filtration year round, is technology we are going to be talking up big time moving forward.
What are winemakers looking for in filtration equipment?
The words reliability and consistency seem to resonate strongest. Yet as simple two words may sound, wine filtration processes are not one dimensional in our wine Industry. The same wine from the same paddock, vintage to vintage, is not the same wine presented each time to the filter; this is a winery truism. Yet winemaking techniques are evolving. At the most simple level, consider the use of PVPP, gelatine, carbon and bentonites for example. The drive toward ‘single movement’ cellar work, in line dosing, and or inline continuous tartrate stabilisation are just some examples of how evolving winery process are driving quality and greater winery efficiency, yet are only achieved effectively by imposing greater load and demands on the winery filter. The drive to JIT (just in time) variations of wine processing, the requirement of blending imported into the winery or be them allocated parcels from the same winery, the challenges of VA, Brett at the winemaking level or at the cellar level dealing with bottling schedules, bulk deliveries of wine from tankers or containers, to name only a few, are challenges on a daily basis that need managing and ultimately changing the once relatively ‘clear’ requirements of the filter. For this reason we believe the market is tending towards our ceramic crossflow technology. Apart from the 10-year life, the ability to be able to filter wines at over 1,000 NTU in one pass to .5 NTU, CIP clean with boiling hot water, use aggressive cleaning agents to remove Brett, VA or be demineralised with nitric makes the Della Toffola Ceramic Crossflow filter a very reliable, robust investment indeed. Similarly, as we ensure life for greater than 10 years we have over 12 years of local experience as to consistency in performance. Add to the fact the thermic resistance of ceramic membranes delivers consistent reliable flow at -5c for filtration, can filter off cold tartrate lees, and consistently and reliably processes wines with KHT, PVPP, carbon and bentonite, winemaker are finding a lot of filter when they get a Della Toffola.
How’s business at the moment?
We have invested continuously in innovation every year. We launched central membrane presses to a lot of traditional winemakers’ angst back in 1998, and this vintage we supplied a number to the Australian and New Zealand market. We launched the ceramic membrane crossflow to the market in 2001, and that same crossflow operates with the same membrane investment to this day. To suggest we are enjoying the fruits of a lot of ‘paying back’, ‘investing back’ would be an understatement. This year we have supplied the biggest crossflow filtration plants to a number of winemakers in Australia and New Zealand. The sale of high solids, flotation solids and juice solids crossflow, as well as the sale of new continuous cold stabilising technology and new continuous flotation technology into Australia and New Zealand – very busy to say the least.