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Crystal stabilisation before bottling

There are many different possibilities for the recurring annual task of stabilising young wine. It represents both a challenge and an opportunity. We’ll show you how you can easily realise your own ideas and company objectives at the same time.

The modern technical standard offers various strategies for tartaric stabilisation. The classic method of cooling over 2-3 weeksis is effective, but consumes very much energy and is thus not climate appropriate. Tartar precipitation can also be accelerated by contact tartar (Kali-Contact). Electrodialysis requires a high level of investment and is only of interest to large wineries. Stabilisation is also possible through the addition of high molecular weight substances. These are presented in greater detail below.

Metavin® Opti (metatartaric acid) und VinoStab® (carboxymethylcellulose) have a protective function and prevent crystal nuclei from growing, which prevents crystal precipitation in the bottle.

MetaGum®is a compound of highly esterified metatartaric acid and clear, soluble gum arabic. Both product components cause long-term crystal stabilisation in wine. MetaGum®’s stabilisation effect is prolonged compared to pure metatartaric acid. It should be added at least 2-3 days before bottling.

VinoStab® is a selected, highest purity carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) for long-term prevention of tartar crystal precipitation. VinoStab® prevents the tartrate crystals’ submicroscopic nuclei from growing. VinoStab® is particularly user-friendly because of its liquid formulation.

Wines to be stabilised must previously undergo particularly thorough protein removal using a bentonite treatment, preferably NaCalit® PORE-TEC. Even negligible quantities of protein can cause turbidity reactions.

A wine’s readiness to crystallise can also be determined using the mini contact process. In this process inoculation crystals, in the form of finely ground tartar, are added to the cooled wine and it dissolved in the wine actually causes crystallisation, or if the wine remains clear and stable. To do this the wine is cooled to < +5 °C, mixed with contact tartar and then evaluated by checking the changes of its conductivity.

How do you determine your wine’s tartar stability?

We recommend:
Determining the tartar saturation temperature in wine using the Erbslöh EasyKristaTest.

Measurement principle:
An excess of finely ground tartar is added to the wine to be tested at ambient temperature. The quantity of dissolved tartar increases the conductivity. The original tartar saturation temperature can be calculated from the increase in conductivity.

Erbslöh’s EasyKrista Test is an easy and quick way to determine tartar instability. VinoStab® is a user-friendly solution for subsequent stabilisation. The liquid product can be added direct to the wine. It does not change the wine’s organoleptics. Laborious cooling processes that require a lot of energy are no longer necessary and the product can be added shortly before bottling. Carboxymethylcellulose is not sensitive to temperature and does not break down during prolonged storage, which facilitates long term stability on the bottle.