Rose and white wine glas

Speed up malolactic fermentation

How speeding up the MLF process helps protect sensory qualities, reduce costs and get wines ready earlier

Time is money, also true in winemaking

The primary cluster of benefits from improving the speed of malolactic fermentation are financial and managerial: 

  • wines are ready earlier and stabilized earlier 

  • the winery saves energy per tank, lowering the cost of heating and/or cooling

  • winery managers can better plan how to use their fermentation capacities, storage tanks and barrels

  • staff can be used for higher-value operations than monitoring MLF for weeks and sometimes months, saving analytic costs.

An example of this is given in the diagram below for a 2008 Spanish Tempranillo.

Alcoholic fermentation was nearly finished when the VINIFLORA® malolactic bacteria were inoculated into the must for the two co-inoculation modalities (green and yellow in the graph). The red curve corresponds to a wine that went through spontaneous fermentation with wild bacteria that were moved from a tank in fermentation and inoculated as a control (cross-seeding with wild unidentified flora).

Malolactic fermentation graph

The timing difference between these two modalities inoculated with VINIFLORA® or by spontaneous fermentation is 23 days! 

Wines inoculated with VINIFLORA® were microbiologically stabilized more than 3 weeks earlier than the spontaneous ferment and were ready to enter into their maturation phase, to be filtered and bottled, or tasted by journalists and traders; definitively a great competitive advantage.

VINIFLORA® malolactic cultures not only bring speed to the malolactic fermentation process but also consistency and reliability through natural, selected strains of Oenococcus oeni and Lactobacillus plantarum bacteria. 

Three main axes are available to manage MLF speed: the strain selected, MLF temperature and the timing of bacteria inoculation compared to yeast inoculation: early co-inoculation, late co-inoculation or sequential inoculation. 

We have a Wine Team available all around the world to bring assistance and help calculate the savings made by using VINIFLORA® through our value calculator: VINISAVE.

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