Working alongside winemakers

by | Apr 3, 2018 | Business and Marketing

Reputable oenological products firm Lamothe-Abiet of Bordeaux, France,
has appointed Pellenc as its distributor in South Africa.

 Based in Paarl since 2014, Pellenc specialises in the design of harvest machines, winery equipment and tools for vineyard operations, and has been partnering with Lamothe-Abiet since November last year. “Thanks to Pellenc’s strong roots in this country, this collaboration has enabled us to be closer to producers,” Lamothe-Abiet export manager David Duguey says. “We have recruited an oenologist, Jordan Buonomo, who will work with both companies in order to promote and optimally advise winemakers about our solutions.”

Pellenc South Africa CEO Philippe Bohn is equally optimistic about the new partnership. “Working with Lamothe-Abiet fills me with confidence, especially due to the quality of its products and its excellent reputation and technical support.”

The convergence of these two companies is no accident. It’s the result of bioprotection trials carried out in France during the 2017 harvest. The two companies combined their expertise on the subject of reducing the dosage of SO2 used on grapes at harvest. Pellenc has developed an integrated dispenser mounted on the harvest machine which can gradually and evenly spray Excellence Bio-Nature, a non-fermenting non-Saccharomyces yeast, directly onto the grapes in the hopper. Following convincing results, it was decided to continue working together, this time in Africa.

Lamothe-Abiet has recently concentrated its efforts on developing innovative biotechnologies. In 2003 it developed a yeast strain through a directed breeding process – a first for Lamothe-Abiet. Named Excellence XR, it guarantees winemakers technical consistency and an organoleptic profile that respects the grapes’ terroir. It’s the ideal yeast for producing premium-quality red wines with ageing potential. Excellence XR is now the strain of choice for most Bordeaux Grand Crus chateaux and premium-quality structured red wines in general.

The most recent innovation is the selection and distribution of a non-Saccharomyces yeast developed specifically for bioprotection. The microorganism was selected through a joint study programme with two universities including Stellenbosch University which made it possible to characterise and isolate a single Metschnikowia pulcherrima strain from a bank containing more than 70 different strains.

The Metschnikowia pulcherrima strain, which has been named Excellence Bio-Naturae, has a low fermentation activity and is ideal as a substitute for the use of sulphites on the grapes at harvest. Several trials carried out in France have shown the advantages of this application. Bioprotected wines contain less total SO2 and less sulphite-binding compounds at the end of alcoholic fermentation compared with wines that are treated with sulphites at reception. Besides improving effectiveness of the post-fermentation sulphite addition, the wines show a more open, clean aromatic profile and are more generous on the palate.

Lamothe-Abiet is also the official distributor of Novozymes® enological enzymes. Novozymes® is the global leader in bio-innovation and the only company worldwide to offer products which are certified by the most stringent quality standard FSSC 22 000. Lamothe-Abiet has been certified ISO 22 000 since 2008, and is going even further by starting the process to be
FSSC 22 000 certified by the end of the year.

Who are we?

Founded in Bordeaux in 1878, Lamothe-Abiet was the first oenological products company in France. Thanks to its dynamic founders the company spread its roots throughout France’s wine regions. The robust activity of the large French trading companies has brought a period of active development. Lamothe-Abiet is now present in nearly 40 countries across the globe. This year Lamothe-Abiet celebrates its 140th anniversary. This longevity bears testament to our constant innovation which is geared towards the quality of our products and services we offer winemakers.

Lamothe-Abiet’s expertise

Lamothe-Abiet’s growth has been possible thanks to a wide distribution network, both in France and abroad. In Bordeaux, the products are recommended by the most prestigious consulting laboratories, such as Libourne Œnologie and Oenoconseil Pauillac. Numerous partnerships with research institutes and consultant winemakers are the origin of our highly innovative products. For instance yeast/bacteria co-inoculation was pioneered in collaboration with Eric Boissenot in 2003. This technique is now widely used in the top Bordeaux grand cru wineries.

Lamothe-Abiet has a long-standing partnership with the Institute of Vine and Wine Sciences at the University of Bordeaux, where the yeasts from the Excellence range were designed and developed. As well as its external collaborations, Lamothe-Abiet benefits from its own research and development department which focuses on two major areas: chemistry and colloids, and microbiology. This department is dedicated to research, both applied and fundamental, and regularly publishes articles in specialised publications.

Lamothe-Abiet also has an in-house Wine Experimental Centre where new formulations can be scientifically tested and approved. This centre makes it possible to refine our knowledge and technical expertise for each of our products and enables us to provide better recommendations to winemakers.

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