Enological Enzymes for Winemaking
Enological enzymes have proven their worth in wineries by helping produce wine with enhanced varietal aroma, flavor, mouthfeel, and color. Many of the desirable phenolics such as color pigments, tannins, along with flavor and aroma compounds are contained in the epidermic and hypodermic cell layers of the grape skin. Selective release of these compounds with maceration and extraction enzymes serves to increase varietal intensity without introducing undesirable components. Maceration enzymes will slightly perforate the cell wall to allow for the gentle release of juice, tannins, and anthocyanins early in the maceration period from grapes. Extraction enzymes shorten maceration time while higher quality free-run juice volumes are increased significantly with less mechanical force. For red grapes in particular, macerating enzymes help break down cell walls for a more gentle phenolic extraction, resulting in improved color stability, aroma and rounder mouthfeel. Clarification and filtration enzymes are used to boost clarification speed and yield. They improve settling or flotation while reducing the volume of gross lees. Correct and rapid depectinization is essential to achieving low viscosity and the formation of floc necessary for successful flotation. Filtration enzymes are used to degrade remaining soluble pectin and polysaccharide colloids to save wine, material and time during filtration. Aroma liberating enzymes release bound terpenes in white wines, allowing for the natural fruit and floral characteristics in the wine to be revealed. They also aid in post fermentation clarification.