Tartrate Crystals - "wine diamonds"
Consumers often panic when they see little crystals in their wine, thinking they are impurities or even bits of broken glass. They often refuse to drink the wine and return it to the winemaker - who promptly serves it to his own family.
n Europe Tartrate crystals are accepted as a sign of a natural wine free from additives and chemicals. Americans however, are more accustomed to clear wine, pure, filtered, processed and de-sedimented.
Tartrate Crystals are a natural product of the wine. They form when the wine gets too cold. Think of sugar turning into rock candy and you'll have a good mental image.
Since tartaric acid and potassium are natural components of grapes, they cannot be removed once formation has occurred inside the bottle. To ensure crystals don't form during storage at the consumer's home, the winemaker could force crystal formation at the winery through a process called cold stabilization but many winemakers do not cold stabilize the wine as they prefer to maintain the purity of the wine’s natural aromas, a key part of the wine drinking experience.
If any of our customers find "diamonds" in a glass of Hoepler wine it will be because the bottle has been stored below 5°C (41 °F) and thus the above process has occurred. If crystals appear in your wine glass - Lucky you! It is proof that you are enjoying a truly natural wine.
"Tartrate crystals are as natural to wine as seeds are to a watermelon."