PurityPlus® Argon: Western Michigan Winemakers Specialty Gas of Choice07/06/2018Nitrogen (N2) is bound to be the standard noble gas for blanketing and protecting our food and beverages. It has its uses in winemaking, too. But winemakers usually favor argon (Ar) for blanketing wine tanks, carboys, and barrels. That’s the prevalent view, at any rate of GTW winemaking customers here in Western Michigan. What draws them to Argon is twofold: 1) unlike oxygen, argon doesn’t react with wine to effect any negative characteristics; and 2) argon is heavier than oxygen. Its elevated density insures that more of the gas will be in prolonged contact with the surface of the wine, thereby barring more oxygen (and its harmful effects) as well as thwarting microbial spoilage. Of course, there isn’t anything that preserves wine and defends it against O2 better than just topping it off in whatever it contains. Should that not be possible, though – and just as an added precaution – it’s argon to the rescue! Applying argon to purge the headspace in wine containers, regardless of what kind they are, eliminates oxygen by lifting it and whisking it away. This process is generally dubbed flushing or sparging, and it’s most effective. The displacement of oxygen by argon (or a similar inert gas) makes it possible for wine to be sufficiently aged or maintained safely in storage for immeasurable periods of time. We’ll merely note here that GTW has been a leading supplier of PurityPlus® argon (and nitrogen and other such preservation gases) to the Western Michigan food and beverage industry for years now. We’ve become a highly regarded source of these gases. So if winemaking is your profession, look to GTW, your Western Michigan PurityPlus® Partner, for a steady, dependable source of the argon that’ll keep your wine flowing pure!