Ask Wine Wizard
How long will a layer of argon or CO2 be effective in protecting the wine or must from oxygen?
Michael D. Randow — Los Alamos, New Mexico & Roger MacWilliamson — Hollister, California asks,
Question #1: My carboys are 6 1⁄4 gallons (24 L). I am making mostly heavy reds and want to bulk age in glass carboys for up to twelve months before bottling. I don’t mind topping off with a small amount of similar wine every once in a while but what do you do when making an Amarone? I certainly don’t want to pour in several bottles of $65 Amarone! I have access to a cylinder of pure argon gas and want to backfill the headspace of the carboy. I would also be adding sulfite every 2–3 months to the carboy as well. How long does this technique last before you need to backfill again if you don’t open the airlock/stopper?
Question #2: How long will a layer of argon or CO2 be effective in protecting the wine or must from oxygen?