A new gadget which claims to be able to filter out sulphites from wine is seeking investment via crowdfunding website Kickstarter. The news highlights the growing trend of using new technologies in the wine industry.
The device, named Üllo, is described on the Kickstarter page as “a revolutionary new wine purification product” which removes sulphites, “restoring wine to its natural, preservative-free state”. Sulphites are common in wines, with some winemakers arguing that they are necessary for helping prevent oxidation. Sulphites, however, are an allergen and can further have a negative impact on the taste of the wine. Üllo notes in its presentation that an estimated three million Americans are sensitive to sulphites resulting in allergies or respiratory problems.
The Chicago-based start-up, founded in 2014, purifies wine using a food grade polymer to selectively remove sulphites, while allowing other compounds in the wine to flow through unaffected. Industry magazine the Drinks Business notes in its coverage of the news that Üllo has already invested $200,000 in scientific research, product design, engineering, testing, branding, PR and business development, and is now looking to raise a further $100,000 via crowdfunding to allow it to launch initial production. Üllo has said that the anticipated retail price for 10 sulphite filters will be $20, with one filter designed to purify one 750ml bottle of wine.
New technologies have recently been gaining popularity in the wine industry. Last month, news emerged that Château Lynch-Bages would trial a new tool to better monitor what is happening to the wine inside a barrel or a vat. The tool, called ‘Winegrid’, offers real-time wine production monitoring, keeping track of parameters such as temperature, colour, turbidity, as well as PH, alcohol and sugar levels.