One of the biggest filtration challenges faced by wineries is the recovery of wine from lees. Suitable filtration technologies are limited by the high concentration and variability of the suspended solids along with increased regulatory pressure to reduce waste volumes. Crossflow lees filtration offers wineries an efficient solution to this filtration challenge.
Traditionally, filter aid-based systems, like rotary vacuum drum (RVD) or chamber press filters, are used to perform lees filtration. While these systems typically achieve good volumetric recovery of the wine from the solids, there are inherent drawbacks to using them that can affect wine quality. The open design of these systems allows for oxygen pick-up, and, often, the recovered wine requires further processing. Consequently, the wine is typically downgraded in value and used in blends instead of being reincorporated with the original batch. Traditional technologies require large volumes of diatomaceous earth (DE) or perlite filter aids, leading to increased winery waste, disposal, labor and wine losses. All of these factors contribute to high operating costs.
To overcome the limitations of existing filter aid-based lees systems, The Yalumba Wine Company became one of the early adopters of the latest advancement in crossflow lees filtration. This new technology utilizes the same hollow fiber membranes proven in wine clarification applications. However, the fibers have a wider inner diameter, so they can process higher solids. The implementation of Pall’s Oenoflow™ HS lees filtration system has enabled the Barossa Valley winery to more efficiently and economically recover higher quality wine from lees.