VA Filtration is a mobile wine filtration company that specialises in volatile acidity removal from wine. VA Filtration is based in the US, with branches in Australia, South Africa and Chile.
The company is involved in six main areas of mobile wine filtration: volatile acidity reduction, Lo-Cross-Flo microfiltration, lees filtration, brett removal (4EP and 4EG reduction), DES removal and TCA / TBA removal.
Volatile acidity reduction for wines
VA Filtration provides an affordable, high-quality volatile acidity reduction process that has a range of benefits:
- Lower operating pressure means less stress to the wine
- On-site processing for even small volumes (minimum 60gal using our new Sweetspotter)
- Higher removal rate per pass (30% minimum)
- Negligible heat increase of the wine during processing – no glycol cooling required
- No internal recirculation of the wine within the machine – one pass means only one pass
- Faster processing time: 480gal/hr-720gal/hr throughput
- Friendly, continuous supervision by our highly skilled technical operators
- Cost-effective even for lower quality wines
On-site wine microfiltration
VA Filtration’s Lo-Cross-Flo mobile microfiltration system is a unique technology in that it is not actually a cross-flow filter system, but uses predominantly dead-end filtration to filter the wine.
We do not utilise the cross-flow action to keep the membrane clean but rather make use of a considerable increased surface area to compensate for any loss in flow rate. The membranes are the most important factor in the system. With increased surface area we are not only able to feed semi dead-end but have a lower flux rate per m² with an immediate lower trans-membrane pressure. All these factors equate to a less abrasive filtration system for wine.
This system is currently in operation in Australia and South Africa.
On-site lees filtration
Many people dispose of their lees believing them to be of no value, but VA Filtration’s lees filtration services can save you money and increase your profits. For example, let’s say that 10,000gal of sauvignon blanc juice at $1/gallon picked, crushed and in tank produces 5% lees equating to 500gal. 500gal of lees contains approximately 80% juice; i.e. 400gal recovered at say $675.
Let’s say you can get $3/gal for the finished wine – this recovered juice would be worth $1,200. Take into account the money you would have wasted if you sent the lees to waste (i.e. $500 for purchasing, picking and crushing) and – voila – you have generated $1,025 out of a waste product (3.5% profit). If this product was a higher end wine and sold by bottle the profits would be even higher.
4EP and 4EG brett reduction
VA Filtration offers an on-site nanofiltration / adsorption service to effectively reduce levels of 4EP and 4EG to less than threshold or as required by the winemaker.
The brett reduction process is a mobile system that uses a combination of membranes and phenol adsorption material to remove the 4EP and 4EG from the wine. Flow rates of between 480gal/hr and 800gal/hr can be achieved with our mobile machine.
On-site DES reduction
VA Filtration offers an on-site service to reduce DES levels to less than threshold or as required by the winemaker. The process is a mobile system that uses a combination of membranes and adsorption material to remove the DES from the wine. Flow rates of between 480gal/hr and 700gal/hr can be achieved with our mobile machine.
TCA and TBA removal from wine
The wine industry has been dealing with the problem of TCA / TBA contamination, or ‘cork’ taint, for many years. In 2004 VA Filtration developed a single pass system for the removal of TCA / TBA from wine on a large scale. The system can be used on volumes as small as single barrels and up to lot sizes greater than 100,000gal.
The process is extremely gentle on the wine, with operating pressures not exceeding 15psi at any time. The chemical make-up of the wine is not affected at all, and the media used has a natural affinity to TCA / TBA only.
Volatile acidity, 4EP / 4EG and smoke taint removal
The Sweetspotter is a simple-to-use nanofiltration-based system that can be operated by the winemaker or cellar staff for the removal of volatile acidity, 4EP / 4EG and smoke taint from one to five barrel lots.
Our Sweetspotter system is unique to the wine industry in its ability to process small lots, including single barrels of wine for trial purposes prior to our full-scale systems being used.