Technique

Using Winemaking Enzymes

Many winemakers shun the use of additives, including enzymes, to respect the wine’s “naturalness.” But juice is laden with natural enzymes, and once inoculated with yeast, fermenting wine is under the control of countless enzymes working hard to help convert odorless compounds into volatile, odiferous ones and create new ones, all of which will define the wine’s style and character. Some enzymes can negatively affect quality and must therefore be kept in check; others are in short supply or non-existent and must therefore be added to craft a specific style of wine or simply to circumvent processing problems. Here, we will take a look at what enzymes are, how they work, and the types of exogenous enzymes (those you add) to help improve your winemaking and wines. Enzymes Enzymes are naturally occurring proteins with powerful catalytic activity, which are synthesized by biological cells in all organisms, and so they occur, for example, in plants, yeast and bacteria. A plethora of enzyme preparations are also available commercially to meet the needs of many industries, notably the food and beverage industry, where