Bentonite in winemaking


What is is used for in winemaking?

Bentonite is a volcanic clay that is used to clarify wines. Its negative electrostatic charge and hydrogen bonding causes suspended particles in the wine to cling to it as it settles to the bottom of tanks under gravity.

Bentonite Trials

Visitors Jane & Jamie examine the 2014 Semillon bentonite trials

Each bottle is filled with the wine and mixed with various amounts of food grade bentonite –  0.5 to 3 grams per litre – to determine the rate to be used clarify the wine.

The less the better as the process can strip out colour & flavour as well as the leftovers from winemaking such as yeast & fruit pulp.

Did you know?

Bentonite has many other applications including in drilling fluids to lubricate and cool the cutting tools, as a ground water barrier, to seal up ponds/dams and as an absorber in cat litter!