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Thread: Chlorine near a vinyard

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    SCEADU's Avatar
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    Feb 2010

    Chlorine near a vinyard

    I met with a client today who is in the begining stages of a wine vinyard. He informed me that chlorine is not good to have anywhere near a vinyard. Have any of you builders ran into this before. He says that it has something to do with a bacteria and cork. Would a salt system be too much chlorine around a vinyard? How much is too much? We talked about using an ozone system but you would still need to add some chlorine. I have built several Pools around the winery in Chateau Elan, Georgia but there was never a question or guidelines about haveing a chloine pool near the vinyard. Anyone build near Napa Valley?


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    Jul 2009
    London and France

    Re: Chlorine near a vinyard

    I think we need more information on the bacteria and cork as that doesn't really say enough of the problem they are expecting re: the vines which is a different issue as far as I can see. The pools I have built in the Loire Valley area are smack in the middle of the wine growing area. Do they used Bordeaux Mix on the vines?

    I always try to advocate low chlorine usage and as such ran my pool on 0.2 ppm last year using additional products not part of BBB, that was an experiment but the outcome was good with no algae or issues. Considering the cocktail of additives used by vinters chlorine is mild by comparrison.

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    Join Date
    May 2007
    South Central NJ

    Re: Chlorine near a vinyard

    I can't see how a salt system would have any effect on the winery or the vineyard unless the backwash from a filter or from overflow somehow got to the vines or storage areas. The vines might not like the salt.

    I would bet a lot of money he stores the corks indoors and in the dark. I don't know that chlorine in the air at such a low level would have any impact. How big a supply would he store? And as for those corks in bottles already, there isn't enough surface area exposed for any trace chlorine to have any effect on the cork or the product in the bottle..

    You know the yeast used isn't outside.

    You could minimize the lost water if it could get near either of those location by using a large cartridge filter.

    The use of Baquacil and its clones, I could see as possibly not being good for the vines. Besides the stuff seems to stop being effective after a few years and, its product costs are also high.

    Ozone really doesn't do a lot chlorine demand reduction on a residential pool under 100,000 gallons.

    Eco-Smarte and similar products don't work. We've proven that here and on the other forums as well.

    I wonder if he is a pesticide free/organic grower.

    He might have to make a choice. It depends on how much he wants a pool.

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    Apr 2007
    Sebring, Florida

    Re: Chlorine near a vinyard

    He says that it has something to do with a bacteria and cork.
    Without ANY scientific knowledge whatsoever, I believe that to be almost absurd. (However, I never thought a bagel store could survive in the South, either, which shows just how smart I am.)

    1. How in the world could any but the tiniest trace of chlorine migrate into his bottling or storage facility? At 2-5ppm in the pool, can you imagine what a tiny, tiny, tiny, tiny amount of chlorine could waft out of the pool, into his facility, and go to work on his corks? (My assumption is he will have them somewhere in a box and not be floating them in the pool!) I am pretty darn sure he has more parts per billion of bird poop drifting around than a pool could ever produce.

    2. Corks are on the way out in the wine industry. Like it or not, they are progressively being replaced by the dreaded "screw top". It simply makes no sense to continue the romanticism of corked wine bottles. (I still love the cork tops and hate the trend but it is inevitable)

    3. Sorry for the rant (and it won't be my first time being wrong) but the idea seems completely and totally without merit.
    Dave S.
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    Butterfly's Avatar
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    May 2007
    South Carolina

    Re: Chlorine near a vinyard

    Cork taint? Maybe this is the client's concern?

    here's a snippet:

    Systemic TCA
    The primary chemical precursor to TCA is TCP (2,4,6-Trichlorophenol), an anti-microbial agent used in processing wood. Molds (and some suspect bacteria such as Streptomyces[3]) are able to de-toxify TCP by methylating the -OH to -OCH3, which is not toxic. Chlorinated phenols can form chemically when hypochlorous acid (HOCl-, one of the active forms of chlorine) or chlorine radicals come in contact with wood (untreated, such as barrels or pallets.) The use of chlorine or other halogen-based sanitizing agents is being phased out of the wine industry in favor of peroxide or peracetic acid preparations. Chlorine dioxide has not been shown to produce these spontaneous chlorophenols. Wine Spectator has reported that such California wineries as Pillar Rock Vineyard, Beaulieu Vineyard, E & J Gallo Winery and Chateau Montelena have had trouble with Systemic TCA.[4]
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    JasonLion's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Silver Spring, MD

    Re: Chlorine near a vinyard

    You certainly wouldn't want to store concentrated chlorine (trichlor, dichlor, cal-hypo, liquid chlorine, etc) in the same room where wine making was taking place or where wine making supplies are stored. Fumes from concentrated chlorine will affect the growth rates of various bacteria and yeasts, changing the ratios of desirable vs undesirable strains, or killing everything off, potentially changing the taste or character of the wine. Likewise, you would not want to pump large quantities of pool water directly onto soil used for growing grapes.

    The required precautions should all be quite simple, unless everything is forced to be very close together, which seems unlikely. Chemical storage needs to be ventilated independently from wine making areas, preferably in completely separate buildings/sheds, and some minimal physical separation should be insured. Other than that, I can't imagine any problems.
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    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    San Rafael, CA USA

    Re: Chlorine near a vinyard

    Perhaps this is an indoor pool in which case the vapors could be of concern, but if it's an outdoor pool in a reasonably well-ventilated area, I don't see a problem. As others noted, it could be a concern with the backwashed water if he is unable to put that into a sewer drain. Also, isn't the municipal water they are using either chlorinated or monochlorinated? Or is it well water? Too many unanswered questions.
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