Workshops for Winemakers to Begin Spotlight on Sanitation

Educational series for winemakers and industry will begin in August

July 21, 2020, 11:08 am | Aude Watrelot

AMES, Iowa – With grape harvest rapidly approaching, winemakers have some important considerations to make regarding the cleanliness of their working environment, winery and cellar, and the proper and practical use of sulfur dioxide as a preservative.

Two webinars are being offered in August to help the wine industry understand the options. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach and the University of Minnesota will offer a one-hour webinar Aug. 4 called “Cellar Sanitation,” beginning at 3 p.m. and led by Cory Marx, food science and technology graduate student at the University of California Davis; and Luke Holcombe of Scott Laboratories.

winemaking tanks.The second one-hour webinar is called “Proper and Practical Use of Sulfur Dioxide” and will be held Aug. 18 at 3 p.m. Gavin Sacks, professor and associate chair of viticulture and enology at Cornell University, and Katie Cook, of Scott Laboratories, will lead a discussion on the importance of sulfur dioxide, and good SO2 management in the winery.

Aude Watrelot, assistant professor of enology and extension enology specialist at Iowa State University, said the workshops are the first in a series to be offered this fall, with future dates and topics to be announced.

She said cleanliness of the wine operations is important, both for safety and for wine quality.

“We want to make sure people know exactly what to do to make quality wine,” said Watrelot. “Lack of cleanliness, sanitation and poor sulfur dioxide management can easily lead to wine faults and become the reputation of the winery, and we want winemakers to know their options.”

The cleaning and sanitation webinar will include two 20-minute presentations of the practical aspects of cleaning and sanitizing in a winery, and a method for optimizing the use of chemical agents for cleaning and sanitation.

The sulfur dioxide webinar will include two 20-minute presentations on the definition of sulfur dioxide; the forms of sulfites; differences between free, bound and total SO2; the importance of SO2 in winemaking and the methods to measure in wine.

Both webinars also include a 15-minute question and answer with Watrelot and the other specialists.

Registration for the cleaning and sanitization webinar is available online. Registration for the sulfur dioxide webinar is also available, at a separate link.

For further details or questions, visit the Wine Industry Events in Watrelot’s faculty web page, or contact her at, or Drew Horton, enology specialist with the University of Minnesota, at


Original photo: wine tanks.

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