Definition - What does Sanitation mean?

In wineries, it is very important to keep the grounds clean and sanitized, this dual step process is responsible for prohibiting harmful bacteria from affecting the grapes, equipment and quality of the wine.

Sanitation, by definition, is absence of microbial cells on the surface of winery equipment, and they utilize sanitation solutions (chemicals or heat) to prohibit contamination. The best time to sanitize a winery is after a harvest, when the equipment may go into a storage facility or before using it with a new batch of wine. This prevents wines from developing vinegar taint.

WineFrog explains Sanitation

First and foremost, before any location or its equipment can be sanitized it must be cleaned, removing any loose dirt, particles, juice or dried fruit from the drains, tanks, floors and any other equipment, specifically those that come in contact with wine.

There are different ways to sanitize equipment; some wineries use chemical solutions like sulfates mixed with acid to dissolve microbes or white powders (like PeroxyClean) that are mixed with water to produce hydrogen peroxide. Other wineries use heat like hot water or steam, UV light and ozone for sanitization, however, there is not one sanitizer that is ideal for every situation, and most often, they are alternated to be the most effective. Proper sanitation is necessary to keep the quality of the wine consistent, protect the equipment and reduce exposure to harmful bacteria, which can affect aging and fermentation.

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