REMOVING EXCESS COLOR FROM WHITE WINES
Proprietors of bonded wineries
and bonded wine cellars:
Purpose. The purpose of this industry circular is to announce
an experimental study for removing excess color from white wines,
other than vermouth, and the conditions to be met by winemakers
desiring to participate.
Background. Industry Circular No. 57-28, dated September 6,
1957, notified proprietors of bonded wineries and bonded wine cellars
that in the production of special natural wines the use of activated
carbon or other filtering aids and devices in the treatment of such
wines (or the wine-producing material) indicated that color and other
characteristics of the wine may have been removed. Accordingly, a
minimum color of not less than 1.0 Lovibond in a one-half inch cell
was established unless it was shown that the requirements of regulations have been complied with in all respects. Subsequent to the
issuance of the Circular, members of the wine industry represented
to the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division that white wines of a color
of less than 1.0 Lovibond scale could be achieved in regular wine
production procedures and that the treatment of white wine with
activated carbon to remove excess color to a degree of less than
1.0 Lovibond scale would not remove color or other characteristics
of the wine to any extent prohibited by law.
Experimental study. In order to determine a practical application of 26 CFR 240.527 in regard to the removal of excess color from
such white wines with the use of activated carbon, it has been decided
that the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division will engage in an experimental study jointly with the wine industry, effective immediately,
and to expire June 30, 1959. On or before June 30, 1959, the data
obtained from the study will be correlated and evaluated by the
Procedure. Any proprietor desiring to engage in this experiment
should file with his assistant regional commissioner, in duplicate,
an application for continuing authority to use activated carbon under
26 CFR 240.527. Such application should contain all information
required by 26 CFR 240.527 and also:
(a) Indicate the length of time that the carbon will be
in contact with the wine.
(b) State approximate temperature of wine during treatment.
(c) Describe or explain any unusual factors of the treatment.
(d) Explicitly specify the quantity of activated carbon to
be used, such as 8 pounds per 1,000 gallons will be used,
or 5 to 8 pounds per 1,000 gallons will be used.
A separate application for each batch of wine to be treated will not
Samples. During the trial period, samples as needed will be taken
both by the Government and by the proprietor for the purpose of determining the effect of the use of activated carbon and the amount of color
removed, as well as for comparative tests of other characteristics of the
Conditions. Proprietors participating in this experimental study
shall conform with the following conditions:
1. Nine pounds of activated carbon per 1,000 gallons of wine,
including any activated carbon used in the basic wine producing material, is the absolute maximum which may be
2. Wine treated with activated carbon must have a color of
not less than 0.6 Lovibond in a one-half inch cell; however,
if a proprietor can achieve in regular production of wine a
color of less than 0.6 Lovibond scale, without the use of
carbon, such procedure may be properly followed.
3. The 0.6 Lovibond restriction applies whenever carbon is
used on bonded winery premises; it would not apply to
carbon treatment of wine spirits on distilling premises.
4. The proprietor must keep commercial records which shall
show for each batch of wine or basic wine-producing
material treated with carbon the exact details of such
treatment including the kind of juice, by grape variety,
and the kind of carbon used.
5. Where wine is treated under this experiment and is later
transferred in bond, a notation will be made on Form 703
by the consignor and in the records of the consignee as
to the quantity of activated carbon used for the treatment
prior to shipment. A second treatment may be made if the
total use of activated carbon does not exceed 9 pounds per
1,000 gallons of wine, i.e., if 5 pounds of activated
carbon per 1,000 gallons were used in the first treatment,
not more than 4 pounds of activated carbon per 1,000
gallons could be used in the second treatment.
Inquiries. Inquiries concerning this industry circular should
refer to its number and be addressed to the office of your assistant
regional commissioner (alcohol and tobacco tax).
Dwight E. Avis
Director, Alcohol and Tobacco Tax Division.
Note: During the period of the experiment Industry Circular
No. 57-28 is superseded hereby.