Jerez: a universe of very special wines – can one technology stabilize them all?

The mysterious world of Jerez wines seems to be out of time. Its century-old traditions provide us with wines as delicious as unique. No wonder then, that Jerez winemakers are careful when it comes to modern winemaking technologies. The STARS® tartaric stabilization technology has recently proven itself able to provide an alternative to cold stabilization for the whole range of Jerez wines.


Unique winemaking techniques

Jerez wines start out, for most of them, just like any white wine of the year. At the end of vinification, most of it receives a fortification to reach 15% alcohol before it joins directly the solera system of American oak barrels, where it is mixed with older wines and submitted to a flor aging. Flor (“flower”) is the name given to the natural veil of indigenous yeasts that forms on top of wine when exposed to oxygen in the Andalusian bodegas. It causes a biological aging of the wine (as opposed to oxidative aging) and is one of the keys to the exceptional tastes of Jerez wines. Another exceptional characteristic of Jerez wines is their diversity. Jerez winemakers have been very creative, mixing and matching a variety of dry wines and natural sweet wines with Jerez brandies. As a result, Jerez holds a whole universe of wines, from the driest to the sweetest, the palest to the darkest, the subtlest to the heartiest.


A pain point in a century-old process

No matter how diverse, Jerez wines share common points: a limited set of varietals, solera and flor, the impact of barrel aging, and, of course, the maestria of Jerez winemakers. Another common point is that, in spite of their relatively long aging in American oak barrels, Jerez wines still need to undergo tartaric stabilization. And that step can get tough. With high alcohol content (over 15%), those wines have a low congelation point. As a result, static cold stabilization is time consuming, and continuous cold stabilization is energy consuming. No wonder then that alternatives for tartaric stabilization would generate some interest in Andalusia. This is what happened with the STARS® technology: over a year ago, a famous Jerez winery was the first ever to try it out on a manzanilla, a palomino wine from the Sanlucar de Barameda district. The trial was a success and in October 2020, in another round of trials, 2 other great Jerez names successfully stabilized a range of wines with STARS®: cream, oloroso, fino dulce, fino sobretabla… The local support and advocacy of SECOVISA was key to organizing the trials, which were realized with a Gemstab Servicios Vinicolas trailer.


STARS®: a viable solution for the whole range of Jerez wines

In spite of being undeniably exceptional and diverse, and in spite of the relative difficulty to stabilize them with cold, Jerez wines are easily stabilized with STARS®. STARS® is a membrane-based technology that extracts the ions that are responsible for tartaric precipitation: tartrate, potassium and calcium. It is a continuous, tank to tank process that happens at winery temperature – so, unlike with cold stabilization, alcohol content doesn’t impact the efficiency of the process. Sugar content also does not affect STARS® stabilization. STARS® offers winemakers a precise control on the level of ion extraction, all while preserving wine quality. Finally, it seems Jerez winemakers have found an alternative to cold stabilization that makes the tartaric stabilization step painless and as smooth as a cream.

Oenodia: first ever remote commissioning of a STARS® unit in Spain

Let’s head south of Barcelona, ​​to the Vila Rodona cooperative, a century-old winery that has remained at the leading edge of winemaking. Innovation is indeed not a question of age but of character. The Vila Rodona cooperative winery, founded in 1919, proved this by carrying out, together with the teams of OENODIA and TecnoEquip, the very first remote commissioning of a STARS unit.

The cooperative winery of Vila Rodona is located in an extraordinary architectural setting of modernista style – the Catalan version of Art Nouveau. But the real treasure lies in the tanks and bottles that patiently wait for the time when they will be ready to be tasted: Vila Rodona produces cava, an effervescent made using the traditional method, from the Macabeu, Parellada and Chardonnay grape varieties. In 2008, Vila Rodona inaugurated new aging and bottling facilities, equipped with cutting-edge technologies, in order to further improve the quality of its wines. At the end of 2019, Vila Rodona decided to acquire a STARS60 in order to respond ever more effectively to the demands of its markets. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, TecnoEquip and Oenodia have teamed up with the cellar team to allow the delivery and commissioning of the equipment in May 2020. Oenodia has thus achieved the very first remote commissioning of its history, a feat only made possible thanks to the local support from TecnoEquip, the full involvement of all team memberss, and of course the trust of the cooperative management.

The responsiveness implemented to enable the remote commissioning of STARS® units is now more than ever an undeniable competitive advantage for responding to an increasingly globalized and uncertain market.


Winery photo credit : Celler cooperatiu de Vila Rodona

Armenia: Noah’s legacy is in safe hands

A journey to Armenia through the stunning history of Karas winery, where Oenodia will be soon commissioning a brand-new unit.

Where does the vine come from? Where did Noah plant the first one? Where was Vitis vinifera first found in its primitive form? Minor Asia, Georgia, Armenia? Fascinating questions!

Let’s travel to Armenia a moment, where Oenodia will be installing the country’s first STARS unit next July. A discreet country, that has stayed out of the wine world’ turmoil, but whose oenological revival, initiated 20 years ago, is more than worth the interest.


With substantial export sales, Karas winery is a major actor of that rebirth. Gabriel Rogel, its adventurous Argentinian winemaker, now working for 7 years at Karas, has kindly agreed to share his experience and to give us some insight of the Armenian wine industry.


  • What was Armenian viticulture back in the 90s?

At the fall of the Soviet Union, while Georgia was principally producing wine, viticulture was mostly dedicated to brandy in Armenia. The little amount of wine that was produced was typically entry-level sweet red and was sold locally”.


  • In that context, how came the first spark of the Karas project?

Karas is all about a family coming back home. After a stunning history in Argentina, and fortified by the earlier success of Bodega del Fin del Mundo in Neuquén, the Eurnekian family decided to renew its roots within its homeland.

Back in 2002, the initial project entailed planting vines to provide premium grapes for the brandy industry. The region of Armavir happens to be the idyllic place, and its unique volcanic terroir prompted the family to try a couple fermentations, first with local grapes varieties, then planting international ones. The successful results of those trials were the spark to move forward and our first wine was released in 2010.”


  • Do you intend to promote local grape varieties?

We do believe in local varieties and take advantage of their diversity in many blends, combined with international varieties.

More than most, the Areni is definitely the emblematic red variety in Armenia. Its delicate profile and herbal freshness show a great potential that we keep on mastering, year after year, by selecting our own plant material from older vines.

Another major red variety is the Sireni. Colorful and full-bodied, it makes a singular synergy blended with the Areni.


  • How does this choice influence your offer and how does it fit with your sales expectations?

Both our blends and mono-varietals are a success, on the national as well as on the international market, and it’s actually difficult to keep up with the demand.

If 60% of our sales goes national, we intend to swap that figure to the export market in a few years. The Armenian diaspora is widespread, especially in the USA and Western Europe, and especially faithful to Armenian wines. That’s obviously the channels we’re aiming at.


  • What’s your vision for the Armenian wine industry in the near future?

Armenia holds many terroirs and varieties, and we’re constantly learning to make the most of its incredible potential.

Wine history is here more than anywhere, and today we are reinventing winemaking to share, worldwide, the best our terroirs have to offer.

Karas in not alone. New investors, renown consultants and diligent winemakers have been working hard lately and all contribute to the rebirth and recognition of Armenian wines.


Gabriel Rogel, winemaker at Karas Winery, Armenia, interviewed by Aikouch Tchilingaryan, director of Eurodia Kuban, Russia.



2020 Brazilian harvest: Never had it so good

The southern State of Rio Grande do Sul produces 90% of Brazilian wine. The harvest period there is one of the longest in the worlds, lasting over 3 months. Let’s cast a light on the 2020 vintage.


Every year, the harvest starts in December with the earlier varietals: Pinot noir, Chardonnay et Riesling itálico. They’ll make up the bulk of base wines for Brazilian sparkling wines, the lovely local “espumantes”.

In January, Pinot noir and Chardonnay for still wines are harvested. Merlot comes up early February; eventually, end of February and early March, Marselan, Cabernet and Tannat join the rest of the gang in the fermentation tanks.


Source / Crédit: [2]

A late harvest

The 2019-2020 Brazilian summer allowed for a late harvest. It was dry – rains were infrequent, sporadic and very local – and let the grapes ripen fully and reach a good balance between sugar and acidity. The average grape sugar rate improved notable, from 13°Babo in 2019 to 16°Babo in 2020 (from 14,5 to 17,8° Brix). “This is the best harvest of the last 20 years”, marvels Mauro Zanus, an agronomist for the Brazilian agronomic research institute Embrapa Uva e Vinho.

Lesser, but better

695 million kilos of grapes have been harvested this year in Rio Grande do Sul, -down 11% from 2019. The production decline is due to the coulure, phenomenon, where part of the vine flowers remain unfecundated, because of rains during flowering, between October and November. This will not dampen the joy of Brazilian winemakers, now caring for this highly qualitative harvest inside their wineries. How about we pour you a glass?


Um abraço,

Renata for the Oenodia team







Main picture :

STARSXF® offers unparalleled efficiency. Three days of plate and frame filtering and a month of cold stability was accomplished in 5 hours!

This, according to Jason McConnell, Owner and Winemaker at RIVINO Winery, following his first time utilizing Oenodia’s STARSXF®, which streamlines wine stabilization with crossflow filtration in a single pass.


April 22, 2020.  Napa, CA.  STARSXF® is part of the STARS Line of technologies, pairing OENODIA’s specific crossflow filter with their STARSStab unit.   Over the past few months, several winemakers have employed the process through OENODIA’s STARS Mobile Service.  A few have offered insight into their experience and its effectiveness in delivering a continuous process of filtration directly followed by tartrate stabilization.

Jason McConnell was among these winemakers who utilized the technology.  He had seen it used at another winery and was impressed by how quickly and efficiently the cold stability process could be conducted.  Ashley Highland, Consultant Winemaker from J Curtis, who also utilized the technology for the first time, had been watching STARSXF® for a while.  “When I stepped into a friend’s winery in Washington and they were running their STARSXF® machine, I noticed how polished the wines looked and thought how wonderful it was that you can filter and stabilize in one pass.”

By merging the two processes into a single pass, STARSXF® delivers the well-known advantages of both technologies, eliminating DE and KHT seeding but also reducing drastically both the cold stabilization stage, and the wine losses.  In addition, from a planning perspective, when you need a mobile service to handle both the crossflow filtration and the tartaric stabilization of your wines, it is much easier to plan when you have only one contact person.

“The process sped up the preparation time needed pre-bottling and left the wine more whole organoleptically” said Ashley.   McConnell agreed, “We were able to get our wines to market faster than ever before.” He added “The wines tasted great and have over the months since the trial, tasted even better.”

STARSXF® also offers operational flexibility and easier tank management while retaining respect for the wines.  “I have had tanks that were on cold for 6+ weeks and the DO pick-up they had, regardless of daily gassing, was too big for comfort.” Ashley said.  “In addition to the draw on electricity” she added “I felt like there must be a better way for the wine and the environment.  It is hard on a wine to be held so cold and then seeded, I would sometimes see cot strip the wine in a small way.”

Following her experience with STARSXF® Ashley noted “I purchase wine from all over the West coast and have to tanker the wine to a central location for blending and finishing. To have one less move is better for the wine’s quality. It was an extreme cost savings to crossflow and cold stab at the same time. Less than half the cost of filtration and traditional cold stabilization. Better for the wine and better for energy consumption”.

In conclusion, with respect to overall satisfaction both Jason and Ashley were conclusive in their opinion.  Ashland was “beyond satisfied and I will use this in the future on all my wines where applicable.”

Jason went further adding: “I was completely satisfied with all aspects of the operation and hopefully will be able to purchase a unit for our new winemaking facility. Until that happens we will also be return customers for using their mobile service.  I would definitely recommend this service and/or purchasing this equipment.”

For technical information, availability or service, contact Damien Monnet, Business Development Manager for OENODIA at at 707-302-4554 or STARS Mobile Service Manager, Cliff Burmester at, 707-666-2049.  Or visit them online at

Wine in Brazil: a taste for novelty

With a dynamic domestic market of adventurous consumers looking for novelty and quality, Brazilian wine production is naturally boosted. Increased appreciation towards espumante, Brazilian sparkling wine, is noted both at home and abroad.

Renata & Fabien (Oenodia) at Wine South America, sept. 2019

Major producer, few consumers

7% of Brazilian adults enjoy wine almost every day – which means around 1.6 million daily consumers. Despite a low domestic consumption – 330 million litres, amounting to a yearly per-capita of 2 litres, compared to 50L for the French or… 59L for the Portuguese- Brazil is a major wine producer, the 13th in the world. According to the OIV (International Wine Organization), Brazil produced around 400 million litres in 2019.

90% of Brazilian wine production is located in the southern State of Rio Grande do Sul, where the Brazilian Wine Institute Ibravin counts 680 wine producers3.

Sparkling wines making a splash

Enjoying a glass of wine might not be a part of Brazilian culture yet, but recent market trends hint that we are slowly getting there. The number of regular consumers has been on a steady rise, reaching 32 million people in 2019, according to a Wine Intelligence study for Ibravin.

The driving force behind the rise? Rosé wine consumption, which went from a 2,1% market share in 2015 to 5,1 in 2019, and sparkling espumante wine consumption, the latter being lauded for their high quality. On a more global scale, wine consumption is expected to increase in developing economies, such as Brazil, and decrease in developed countries2.

Looking for something new

These statistics reveal the relatively untapped potential of the Brazilian market, where consumers, deemed adventurous, are on the lookout for novelty and quality4. To explore that potential, you might be interested in visiting the Wine South America trade show, happening every year in Bento-Goncalves. You may very well bump into an Oenodia team member there.

Enjoyed the read? Stay in touch for more on LinkedIn.


Um abraço,

Renata for the Oenodia team