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Wine News

Stopper makes wine preservative-free

An Australian winemaker has invented a stopper that will remove the preservative from wine as the bottle is opened. Preservative – namely sulphur dioxide - is needed to stop wine reacting with oxygen and going off, but in some people it can trigger an allergic reaction.

James Pennington of Rivendell Wines in western Australia told ThirtyFifty that, as a winemaker, he knew how to eliminate sulphur dioxide, but he had to work out a way of doing it without affecting the quality. What he has come up with is the PEWA system, standing for Preservative Elimination in Wine At consumption and pronounced pure. This is a plastic stopper with a lever. When the lever is raised, a minute amount of hydrogen peroxide is released and mixes with the wine. This neutralises the sulphites, without affecting the flavour of the wine, and the stopper can be removed.

James’ patented PEWA stopper adds about A$1 (44p) to the retail price of a bottle.

Going forward James said, ‘I hope to develop a cap that can be used by any winery, allowing consumers to drink top-quality wine without preservatives.’

PEWA bottles aren’t yet available in the UK but James hopes this will change in the near future.