Use of Chemicals in Winemaking & Wine Handling

MegaPurple Additive – Costs and Usage

MegaPurple: brand name for a food additive produced from grapes by a division of Constellation Brands. The process used for producing the additive is proprietary, but likely produced by a series of processes such as vacuum distillation and fractional distillation. The purpose is to bolster or enhance sensory attributes such as color, taste and mouth feel. According to journal reports, Mega purple is used by almost every low to moderate value wine producer (below $20US/750-ml bottle) to help standardize the bottled product ensuring a more uniform product. It is produced by concentrating the grape Rubired, a cross between Alicante Ganzin and Tinta Cão, has 68% sugar and sells for approximately $135 a gallon. MegaPurple has raised some controversy within the wine consuming community as its use is considered to be akin to adulterating a wine. John Williams, winemaker for Frog's Leap Winery, has stated that the need for its use is evidence of poor viticulture and or winemaking.

  • Accredited to:
  • Nick Poletto, John Williams (Frogs Leap)