When some winemakers first hear about us — about how AromaLoc enhances wine quality — they immediately jump to the conclusion that we are “another condensation company.”
In fact, the AromaLoc method is strikingly different. The following four charts explain the AromaLoc method and how it differs from other procedures where wine aroma is physically altered, and where membranes are used by winemakers.
AromaLoc is a completely noninvasive method that creates wine with higher aroma concentration by simply returning aroma to the headspace. This aroma is normally lost to the atmosphere during traditional fermentations. AromaLoc is no more invasive than placing an airlock on a tank of fermenting wine.
The AromaLoc method does not add aromatics to the liquid wine, but rather increases wine aroma by simply mitigating loss of aroma that is made by the fermenting yeast. It does this by relying on the gas/liquid partition coefficient as described in slides 1 & 2 above. The aroma compounds present in an AromaLoc-treated wine are synthetized in the liquid wine and accumulate as dictated by the gas/liquid partition coefficient. As AromaLoc increases headspace aroma, liquid wine aroma must also increase. None of the aromas are captured then added back to the wine.
Don’t confuse AromaLoc with other membrane methods.
Microfiltration, ultrafiltration, and nanofiltration all use a method called “pervaporation,” where one side of the hollow fiber membrane is in contact with liquid wine and the other side may be gas or liquid to capture the aromas crossing the membrane. In these cases, the membranes are porous, meaning the walls of the hollow fibers have tiny holes through which compounds pass through, if the compounds are small enough.
The AromaLoc “vapor permeation” membrane is “dense,” meaning there are no pores — compounds passing through must first dissolve in the silicone rubber comprising the membrane wall before diffusing to the permeate side down a chemical potential gradient supplied by the vacuum pump. Neither must nor fermenting wine are touched when using AromaLoc.