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An update on Flash Detente from the Northbay Business Journal - industrial processing moving upscale in Sonoma?

Flash Wine Technologies (707-310-4925, flashwinetechnologies.com) is targeting smaller-scale flash détente wine processing services with a new company based at Kunde Estate Winery in Kenwood.

In the past two years, Carneros Vintners and Lodi Vintners have been installing such machines with capacity for 20 tons of grapes. Flash Wine Technologies targets Northern California wineries with grape lots as small as 10 tons. Della Tofolla USA of Windsor is supplying these units.

Flash détente has been used outside the U.S. for two decades to greatly improve wine flavor, color and overall quality. The process uses extreme heat followed by rapid cooling in a vacuum chamber, literally exploding grape berries and the cell walls that contain pigments and flavonoids.

Flashing the grape must — fresh juice with skins, seeds and stems — can correct viticultural problems, such as shaded vineyard sites, north or west facing slopes, heavy soil sites or vineyards with declining health or virus issues. The processed must can be pressed immediately to ferment as juice or left on the skins.

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