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Evolution of the use of Micro-Oxygenation(MOX) & Current Practices Jeff McCord, Ph.D. StaVin Inc.

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Presentation on theme: "Evolution of the use of Micro-Oxygenation(MOX) & Current Practices Jeff McCord, Ph.D. StaVin Inc."— Presentation transcript:

1 Evolution of the use of Micro-Oxygenation(MOX) & Current Practices Jeff McCord, Ph.D. StaVin Inc.

2 Outline History of MOX Early, 1990’s, Appearance of MOX Mid 90’s 2000 - Application of MOX to Maturation of Wines, Trials. Current application of MOX – My Perspective Future of MOX

3 Short History of MOX In reality MOX has been a part of winemaking forever. – Pump overs, push down – Racking, barreling 1991 Patrick DuCournau developed a process and system to deliver oxygen to wines in a controlled manner. – Used to help tame Tannat in southern France

4 Oenodev –Pioneers of MOX Oenodev was formed to commercialize what Patrick DuCournau developed. They developed a process and formed consulting partnerships with wineries to help them use and understand MOX.

5 Micro-oxygenation – a review Matthew Parish, David Wollan and Robert Paul Wine Network Australia Pty Ltd Figure 3. The organoleptic phases observed in wine during the process of Micro-oxygenation (Adapted from Lemaire 1995 page 112)

6 1990’s While working at E & J Gallo were approached by OenoDev to use MOX as a means to fix wines. – This peaked the winemakers interest and Jim Peck investigated MOX using silicone tubing to diffuse Oxygen into wines. Worked to a degree but very difficult to control, due to diffusion of CO 2 and water vapor. Tried on barrels but worked too good. Sort of a crude forefather of the O 2 Mate which was developed in Australia.

7 MOX can Fix your wine Soften tannins, eliminate harshness Eliminate reduction Eliminate Green/Vegy/Beany Character in wines Elevate quality of wines Best for use only with wines to be Barreled Dangerous to control and easy to overdue

8 Pre versus Post MLF MOX Pre MLF – Pros Sets color Softens tannins Works best due to lower pH – Cons Difficult to Control Problem controlling MLF and other advantageous organisms Aerative pump overs and air injection easier to control and more effective

9 Pre versus Post MLF MOX Post MLF MOX – Used to mature wines – Can add use high rates of MOX if SO 2 not added – Have option to add SO 2 or filter if microbial issues arise. – Easy to control and monitor – Difficult to determine when to stop

10 2000 – Do you really Need a Consultant Trial with the 1st OxBox done at Hess versus Oenodev – Learned that MOX can not control reduction with presence of high solids. – MOX does not inhibit MLF in fact it kick starts it, most likely due to displacing CO 2 decreasing concentration. – Once solids are racked off reduction was easily controlled. – No real difference was shown between oxygenation boxes. – Demonstrated that we can mature wines without Barrels with a combination of MOX and Barrel Alternatives. – Wine is amazingly resilient.

11 2000 – Second trial Using 4 – 10,000 gallon tanks with and without Barrel alternatives in MLF complete red wine – Demonstrated (proved to ourselves/winemaker) that MOX was better than control after 4 months. – Temperature is extremely important and mixing the tank before sampling was critical. – Wine MOX’ed with Barrel Alternatives preferred, actually preferred over similar wine matured using older barrels.

12 3 rd & 4 th Trials Lessons learned – Always measure volatile acidity. Added toasted oak will cause a bump up in VA. MOX will increase VA if Acetobactor is present. – There is a Sweet spot for Aroma and Flavor development. Too MOX little may not control sulfides masking fruity characters. Too much or too long, can burnoff fruity characters. – Can minimize Green characters but will also reduce fruity. Can make a great blender but not a stand alone wine. – MOX rates above 10 ml/L/month just burn up free SO 2 – Can add more SO 2 but totals will no longer be additive, good for wines to be sent to the EU. – Rapid decrease in free SO 2 indicates MOX rate to high for that wine.

13 Trial at Orcutt Road Cellars Can we make the wine more approachable as a bulk wine to help increase price point?

14 1.) Control – No oak, No oxygen a. tk 3010 b. tk 3011 2.) Staves only – No oxygen a. tk 3012 b. tk 3013 3.) Segments only – No oxygen a. tk 3014 b. tk 3015 4.) Oxygen only a. tk 1203 b. tk 1204 5.) Staves + Oxygen a. tk 1201 b. tk 6011 6.) Segments + Oxygen a. tk 1202 b. tk 6012 No Oxygen Treatments Oxygen Additions Overall Treatment Protocol

15 b b b ab a a aa a b b b

16 b b b a aa a a bb


18 a a a b b b b b a a a

19 c c c a a a a c b b

20 When to use MOX Pre MLF – Lower pH – Able to stabilize more Anthocyanins – Prone to Sanitation issues – Difficult to control – Macro Aeration appears to minimize need Post MLF – No sanitation issues as SO 2 can be added

21 My take on Clique-age First introduced to add a bit more oxygen to wines in barrel to increase maturation. Was also used to minimize racking, minimizing labor. Problem was sanitation. – No cellar work cleaned sparger between barrels. – If one barrel had a problem with Brettanomyces they all could now be infected. And with a proper shot of oxygen to aid growth. Interesting possibilities but only with proper control on sanitation.

22 What have we learned MOX works but it is not magic. Good fermentation practices can, in most cases replace pre-MLF MOX. Can do an excellent job of controlling reduction/sulfides – Post Press/white ferment. Can help minimizes vegetal characters, but I believe mostly though the control of sulfides.



25 Winemakers Headoff on their own A lot of development occurred in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. New and different MOX systems became available to the wine industry. Winemakers began experimenting on what worked and what did not. Mid 200’s MOX evolved into tool for winemakers rather than a hard to understand process to fix wines.

26 MOX as a Tool Does it need to be “Pushed “ or will it be blended with a Barrel Program Does it really need MOX How long before bottling What is the intended purpose How clean – Suspended solids What Temperature - > 50F & < 70F

27 Future Evolving DO Meters may allow feedback control.


29 Future Evolving DO Meters may allow feedback control. Totalizers – how much total O 2 did you add may aid winemakers when treating particular vineyards, varieties and seasons. Do we really need to use expensive Oxygen metering devices?

30 Parting Shots MOX is a tool – Don’t be afraid, experience controls fear. – Do not set it and forget it. – Understand your vintage – Possible presence of laccase. – Understand your vineyards and winemaking systems. Effect of yeast, ml bacteria, hangtime/pH

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