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Okanagan wine industry invention earns prestigious nomination

Click to play video: 'Okanagan invention to improve nose of wine produced, nominated for award' Okanagan invention to improve nose of wine produced, nominated for award
WATCH: An Okanagan invention has been nominated for a big award; The AromaLoc was designed as a non-invasive way to preserve the busty bouquet of wine that is normally lost in the fermentation process. Sydney Morton reports. – Oct 5, 2021

An Okanagan invention has been nominated for a big award.

The AromaLoc was designed as a non-invasive way to preserve the bouquet of wine that is normally lost in the fermentation process.

Now, it has been nominated for the 2021 WINnovation Award in California, recognizing those making innovative advancements in the North American wine industry.

It was invented in 2012 by Dick Jones, and for nine years he has been perfecting his invention with his team to lock in and boost the nose of wine.

“As the yeast ferments the sugar in the wine it also produces aroma compounds which dictate the quality of the wine, and unfortunately the aroma compounds are very volatile, meaning they want to leave the liquid,” said Jones.

“When they leave the liquid, the CO2 that’s being produced at the same time simply blows them out into the winery and so you’ve lost a good chunk of the aromas the yeast is producing.

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“So my idea was to come up with a way to keep those aromas from leaving and keeping them in the wine.”

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AromaLoc is secured onto the tops of stainless steel winery tanks during the fermentation process and is a non-invasive way of improving the wine tasting experience.

“So you drink it [the wine] and then as you swallow the wine, of course, it warms up in your throat as it swallows and then you get vapours coming back up into the nose which is called retrograde smell,” said Jones.

Penticton’s Pentâge Winery has incorporated AromaLoc in the making of the winery’s whites and rosés.

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“We put AromaLoc on everything that we can,” said Paul Gardner, AromaLoc CEO.

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“We’ve had these AromaLoc machines on these floating lid tanks and we have some of the Letina tanks it depends on the volume of wine we’re doing.”

The Okanagan invention has even gone international, having been studied in universities in Europe and North America and used by a handful of wineries around the world.

“At this point, we use it on the white fermentation and rosé, which is mostly in stainless steel,” said Walter Meyer, AromaLoc marketing and sales director.

“We have done a trial in California on red barrels, so barrel fermentation, as an experiment [and it was] very successful, so we’re still working on that part.”

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