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Pre-Harvest Bottling Checklist

Pre-Harvest Bottling Checklist- clean wine bottles

The harvest is almost here, and with it comes a lot of preparation, scheduling, organizing, ordering, and general hecticness. To get through the season effectively and efficiently, it definitely helps to be prepared.

“We should remember that good fortune often happens
 when opportunity meets with preparation.” ― Thomas A. Edison

The team at A. O. Wilson wants to help make your pre-harvest season preparation a little easier, so we’ve created a handy checklist for you:

Pre-Harvest Bottling Checklist

🗹 Ensure that your pumping and filling equipment is cleaned and sterilized 

🗹 Check that your hoses aren’t cracked or need replacing

🗹 Ensure that your gaskets are fitting correctly

🗹 Make sure you have your bottles ready for filling

🗹 Check that you have an ample supply of corks

🗹 Check that you have an ample supply of capsules

  • Depending on your product, you can choose from a variety of Capsules with a range of neck finishes.

🗹 Check that you have an ample supply of screw caps 

  • Depending on your product, you can choose from a selection of Screw Caps.

🗹 Ensure your labelling equipment is ready to go 

  • If you are looking for assistance with your Labeller, we can assist you with parts from world-class, pressure sensitive Great Engineering labellers.

At A.O. Wilson, we have all of your pre-harvest bottling needs. Visit us to check out our latest products and equipment — and don’t forget to bring along a bottle to ensure that your closures are properly sized, or send us a spec sheet and our team will guide you through what you need for a successful bottling.

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The Importance of Yeast Selection in Sparkling Wine

Glasses of Sparkling Wine

This blog highlights some of our most popular S. Bayanus yeast strain options with their specific attributes and considerations for sparkling wine, so you can produce the best bubbly wines for the consumer.

The Importance of Yeast Selection in Fermentation of Sparkling

Every winemaker knows that yeast is necessary, but it is important to consider the speed of fermentation and the impact of the compounds on flavour. Selecting the right yeast for the fermentation process is among your most crucial considerations.

The fruit used in wine can be positively impacted by selecting an appropriate yeast that will bring out and enhance the flavour of the fruit. Yeast helps to liberate the flavours of the wine, and some strains of yeast will bring out the appropriate spectrum of tastes. 

These are our most popular yeast choices for sparkling;

Fervens Pro6 Yeast

Fervens Pro6 Yeast produces fresh fruity and floral expression in sparkling wines for charmat tank or bottle fermented style sparkling wines.

Fermenting very well in a wide range of temperatures (therefore organoleptic results are extremely satisfactory) , this yeast displays a strong aroma of fruits and flowers and has been described as offering an interesting cleanliness in its smell and taste.

This yeast is widely used in Italy to produce high quality Prosecco as well as in primary fermentation where freshness of the wine, not just varietal character, is desired.

Fervens Brio Yeast

Fervens Brio yeast produces one of the most requested categories of wine; pleasant, easy to drink sparkling wines. In tank, it produces sparkling wines with an intense, clean and creamy mouth feel with a long finish. The aroma is characterized by floral ( jasmine and wisteria) and fruity notes. 

Known for its very low riboflavin production, it prevents “lightstruck” in clear bottles hence preserving the aromas and colour of bottled wine.

Fervens Brio’s aroma and fermentation characteristics make this yeast suitable for re-fermentation in bottle as well. 

Fervens Brio Yeast Features & Effectiveness

ENODOC BM-04 Yeast

ENODOC BM-04 ( Blanc Mousseux) yeast can be used in Charmat tank but specifically for Traditional Method style sparkling wines with a fine perlage.

 As this yeast performs well at low temperatures, has an extremely low production of H2S and is still active at +7 bar, it guarantees a safe re-fermenting process. 

This yeast flocculates after fermentation. It is the perfect choice for barrel ageing or when “sur lies” ageing is requested.


Eaton’s SIHA 4 yeast is ideal for producing Champagne (Method Traditionelle) and has distinct advantages, including:

-Secondary fermentation starts quickly

-Very good fermentation properties in cold temperatures

-Formation of a fine champagne bouquet with simultaneous intensification of the typical wine aroma

-Easy separation of the yeasts by agitation

-Produces a sparkle with fine bubbles 

-Good properties for re-fermentation and fermentation of wines that have stopped fermenting

-This particular strain of yeast from the Champagne region offers a fruity and juicy result.

For answers to all your sparkling wine fermentation questions, or for assistance in selecting the best yeast for your wine production, contact us.

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Cider Yeast: A Choice For Every Style

two glasses of cider with cut apples on a board

One of the key elements to making great cider is choosing the right cultured yeast for your style of cider. Whether you are carbonating, bottle conditioning or using a charmat tank, we have the ideal yeast for every application and style.

There are many ways to enhance the fragrance and flavour of your cider. Here are our top recommendations:

FA-01 adapts to all apple, pear and fruit musts, quality levels and conditions; avoids stuck fermentations. It offers the safest overall choice for balance and structure.


BA-02 induces fresh fruity flavours and aromatics even with low nitrogen content or clear musts. BA-02 produces high glycerol for fine bubbles and is ideal for fresh ready-to-drink cider.


BV-03 enhances natural varietal flavours for classic, rustic, European style cider. BV-03 is a safe strain with strong activity and low nutrition needs and can be used to restart a stuck fermentation.


Fragrance produces cider with tropical and citrus notes during cold fermentation. Fragrance produces low riboflavin which eliminates off flavours and prevents colour changes due to “light struck” and increases longevity.


BM-4 is ideal for Traditional Method and Pet Nat sparkling cider with fine perlage up to 7 bar pressure. BM-04 flocculates well for classic bread and yeast aromatics during bottle aging.


PRO6 is Ideal for secondary fermentation in Charmat tanks. PRO6 produces sparkling cider with clean fruit and floral expression. PRO6 is proven to produce high quality Prosecco in Italy.

How to add dry cultured yeast successfully

Providing consumers with a quality beverage that offers enjoyable aromas is something that every Cider Maker desires and A.O. Wilson can help achieve this with our hand selected line of cider yeasts.

TIP: Apples have a very low nutrient content. To avoid off flavours, odours and stuck fermentations, the addition of nutrients is essential. We offer a full range of nutrients for optimal cider production.

Visit our store to order your yeasts and nutrients or contact us here and we’ll help you find the best yeast or nutrient to suit your cider.

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Neutrocork Premium®: The Latest Neutrocork® Evolution

Neutrocork Premium- Amorim cork

Amorim’s commitment to TCA free corks – Guaranteed

Choosing the appropriate cork for your wine is not simply a key finishing element — a cork can have a big impact on the quality, shelf-life and taste of your wine.

When a consumer opens a bottle of wine and experiences a smell that is undesirable, or tastes a wine and finds that it tastes spoiled, it may not actually be spoiled. What the consumer may be experiencing can be caused by cork taint.

Cork taint, caused by the natural compound Trichloroanisole (TCA), can result in a wine smelling like a wet blanket or a soggy newspaper — an unpleasant experience which sometimes leads to unnecessary product loss.

Amorim’s pioneering NDTech individualized screening service offered the world’s first all natural cork with a non-detectable TCA level. A cork stopper with less than 0.5 ng/L of TCA, is considered TCA-free. Amorim aims for all their cork stoppers to be TCA-free by 2020.

Amorim’s Neutrocork® Premium stopper

In working towards the movement of TCA-free cork stoppers in 2020, Amorim is now offering Neutrocork® Premium. Neutrocork® Premium is the latest generation technical stopper which guarantees great structural stability for a perfect performance as well as a TCA-free composition to help your wine maintain its true flavours, age effectively and allow for its antioxidant process to increase over time.

Let’s sum up some of the strong points of Neutrocork premium:

-Composed of ½ mm uniform sized micro cork granule with high elastic properties without the use of microspheres and pressed into individual moulds. Microsperes do not guarantee ageability of wine.

-The micro cork granule is treated using Amorim’s proprietary R.O.S.A. III sanitation system which reduces TCA by 98% in itself. Furthermore, this technical stopper is individually screened for sensorial TCA and guaranteed to be TCA free.

-Chemical analysis for TCA/TBA compounds by chromatography.

-80% cork granule composition which provides this technical stopper with the natural properties and mechanical function of cork. This is the fundamental difference from other, micro-agglomerated corks on the market.

-Available in 44mm and 47mm lengths and in the dark wash only.

-Excellent price point compared to other TCA free guaranteed technical stoppers on the market – Why pay more if you can have …Neutrocork® Premium!

We strongly encourage you to request a sample package of our treated Neutrocork® Premium stoppers and carry out a 3 or 6 month trial and compare with other stoppers on the market. You will then soon realize that Neutrocork® Premium is your stopper of choice for sealing and preserving flavours and aromas of your finely crafted wines.

A. O. Wilson has been a proud partner of Amorim Cork for nearly 20 years, and we’re excited to carry this innovative product. Learn more about cork stoppers from Amorim, and contact us for help with finding the perfect cork stopper for your wines.

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Tannins — Volume 2

red and white wine glasses with grapes against a stone wall

As winemakers, you know that the final adjustment of wines using tannins is very important to achieve balance, mouthfeel, colour stability, longevity, and more. This is particularly important in cool climates where tannin development is often challenging for wines made with both vinifera and hybrid grape varieties.

Both red and white wines often benefit from the addition of tannins, depending on the growing season and the grape variety. As with most things, when choosing tannins, you get what you pay for — real natural grape and plant based tannins are very expensive to extract. Thankfully, DalCin Tannins have a high natural content and dose at low levels which makes them very economical to use, often costing just pennies per litre of wine.

In our previous blog, we discussed DalCin’s Infinity Fruity Red and Fruity White plant based tannins which are added prior to bottling to eliminate reductive sulfur compounds, including screw capped wines, and result in wines that consumers see as having premium qualities.

Adding high-quality tannins can help to create a velvety-quality of wine
and a very elegant and pleasant tasting experience. 

“He who knows how to taste does not drink wine but savours secrets.”
— Salvador Dali.

Introducing new Tannins

Due to demand, A.O. Wilson has introduced two new natural grape based tannins from DalCin, TOP-TAN AR and TOP-TAN SR. Added during ageing or just before bottling, these very versatile and flexible tannins will enhance your wines.


Enhances red and white wine aroma and complexity. Primarily based on grape skin, this tannin enhances structure, roundness, and balance.

In full bodied white wines, TOP-TAN AR gives elegance and complexity by integrating with natural polyphenols for longer aging potential.

In red wine, it enhances fruity notes, complexity, and offers elegant toasty and spicy hints with increased colour stability and a longer aging potential.

Top Tan AR


Enhances red wine structure and polyphenol stability. Primarily based on grape seed, this tannin produces mid palate, highly-structured red wines, binding with poly-saccharides leading to a richer more complex and balanced mouth feel. This plays an important role in colour stabilization as well as accelerating the reaction of anthocyanins binding.

TOP-TAN SR can be used in wines to balance under ripe, as well as over ripe grapes, or where the maceration process has not been optimal.

Top Tan SR

*Note: Lab trials should be conducted to assess the level of tannin to be added. Balanced integration is achieved in 7-10 days. As with all additions that are made before bottling, wines must be protein and colloid stable to avoid haze or filtration issues.

At A. O. Wilson, we are proud to carry a wide variety of tannins to help you enhance your wines. Whether you use a screw cap, a synthetic cork, or natural wood corks, your wines will be improved with tannins.

Using products like TOP-TAN AR or TOP-TAN SR to enhance your wine will help you produce a well-structured, balanced, and flavourful end product. See for yourself how these DalCin tannins can benefit your wines and request your samples today!

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Revitalizing Bottling Tannins Volume 1

Introducing Infinity Fruity White and Fruity Red

Infinity Fruity White and Fruity Red are bottling tannins that remove and control reductive molecules.    A more natural approach to freshen and revitalize your wines in the bottle. Wines pour clean, revealing a more open nose and flavour, even under screw cap.

So how do they work?

Infinity Fruity Red and Fruity White are blends of natural tannins extracted from various plants. These tannins have specific chemical structures that target reductive “masking” molecules that supress aromatics and flavour.

Redox analysis completed at DalCin labs in Italy show remarkable results revealing specific positive benefits for white and red wines.

*Infinity Fruity White Results

*Infinity Fruity Red Results

Added prior to bottling at 2-8 grams per 100 liters, these tannins are very economical to use.  Conveniently packaged in 500 gram containers as well as convenient 80 gram trial size containers. Lab trials should be conducted to assess the level of tannin to be added.

*Note: As with all additions that are made before bottling, wines must be protein and colloid stable to avoid haze or filtration issues.

Contact us today for more info or shop on line for Infinity Fruity Red and/or Infinity Fruity White.

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Membrane Filter Cartridge Benefits

Membrane Filter Cartridge- Hand of businessman touching five star symbol to increase rating of company concept, Copy space background for your title

Do you operate a winery, brewery, or cidery? Do you want to ensure that your products offer customers a delicious and beautiful looking beverage? In order to achieve a five-star result, you need to include membrane filtration as part of your winemaking and brewing process.

Here are some of the top benefits of using a membrane filter cartridge:

1. Prevent your product from spoiling or re-fermenting.

Membrane filtration cartridges will protect your wine, beer, or cider from spoiling by carefully removing microorganisms in the form of bacteria.

Bacteria can occur during the fermentation process and may result in spoilage. These bacteria can include:

-Lactobacillus brevis

-Lactobacillus lindneri


-Pediococcus damnosus


-And more

Filtration options, including depth filter sheets, cartridges, stacked disc cartridges, and membrane cartridges will get the job done and help to safeguard you against product loss.

2. Enhance the appearance of your product.

Some vintners and brewers describe the filtration process as adding a bit of “polish” to the appearance of their products.

Ultimately, membrane filtration cartridges will help to preserve and enhance the colour and clarity of your wine, beer or cider; giving your product a crisp and clear appearance.

3. Remove impurities while protecting the flavour.

Using filtration cartridges is an important step of the wine-making, brewing, and cider-making process and will help to ensure that your end product is flavourful and stable. Removing solids, yeast, and organisms like dekkera intermedia and diatomaceous earth are key to providing consumers with a quality beverage.

At A.O. Wilson, we know that our customers want to produce the highest-quality products for their end consumers — that’s why we carry a variety of the best filtration products on the market.

To achieve quality results, we recommend using the 30” PS Wine Membrane Cartridge for wine, the 30” PS Beer Membrane Cartridge for beer and the 30″ PS Pure Membrane Cartridge for cider. The asymmetric polyethersulfone is specially-designed to support a long service life and will enhance your products.

For more information about filtration products, visit our website and order online!

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Sparkling- Fully Customized

At A O Wilson, we are committed to creating unique and beautiful products that stand out from the crowd — just like your wines. For many wineries and wine producers, sparkling wines are one of their star products, and your star products deserve the special treatment.

Our custom-printed wire hoods give your sparkling wines a chance to shine!

Custom-Printing: The Possibilities Are Endless

With custom-printed wire hoods, you can express your wine and your winery’s personalities. Each of our custom-printed wire hoods are intricately assembled with a wide range of options for colours and prints, so you can create the perfect aesthetic for your sparkling wine.

Low Minimum Order Options

Our custom-printed wire hoods are not just available for larger orders — they’re also available at low minimum orders, making them the perfect choice for special occasions.

Create your very own, personalized hood to share your sparkling wine at your wedding, or to celebrate a milestone anniversary. No matter what the occasion, you can have your sparkling wine capped off with a personalized wire hood!

Custom-Printed Sparkling capsules For Award-Winning Sparkling Wines

We’ve had the pleasure of creating custom-printed sparkling wine capsules for some of Ontario’s best, award-winning wines.

We recently created a beautiful custom hood for 13th Street Winery’s Premier Cuvee, winner of the 2018 White Wine of the Year and 2018 Sparkling Wine of the Year at the Ontario Wine Awards! 13th Street Winery’s Premier Cuvee is produced by renowned French winemaker, JP Colas.

Pedi Crowns

If you’re searching for other options for topping your sparkling wine, look no further than crown caps by Pedi. Pedi is a leader in crowns for sparkling wines and their range of options makes them the go-to choice for topping your sparkling wine!

Pedi crown caps are available with different liners for different aging processes of wine. We can help you in determining the correct liner for your application.

Their selection of aluminum, stainless steel, and standard steel give you a number of options depending on your preferences.

Pedi crowns are customizable as well. Please contact us for more information on personalization of crowns.

Custom-Printed Cider Toppers

Custom-printed wire hoods and crown caps aren’t just for sparkling wines. Both closures are exceptional choices for ciders as well, keeping your products fresh and providing a beautiful, personalized touch to your ciders.

Whatever your beverage needs, A O Wilson has a wide range of products and options to suit your needs, from capsulesclosuresfiltration and everything in between.

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BEER CLOSURES: Foils, Cork&Wire or Simply PVC’s?

Whether you’re a home brewer or own a full-scale brewery, you have a range of options for beer closures. Beer closures can serve a number of stylistic purposes, from establishing brand awareness to helping distinguish a special brew. If you’re creating a signature beer for Oktoberfest or some other occasion, you may choose a specialty closure to make your beer stand out.

At A.O. Wilson, we provide several options for beer closures to help your speciality beers catch attention. You may consider to dress up your crown capped bottle with a decorative foil or you may prefer the “naked look” of a customized or unbranded cork with a wire hood. Or why not be different and opt for an eye catching custom printed PVC shrink?

Crown with Foil

Crown with foil

Crown caps are a great and the most common closure for beer and ciders. They can be ordered in pry off or twist off, plain coloured or custom printed and are available in different sizes to suit your bottle of choice.

At A.O. Wilson, we offer custom printing on crown caps, so you can display your logo prominently on the cap for easy identification. The minimum for custom printed crowns is only 50,000 ( 5 boxes !).

For a completely dressed look, a pleated foil can be applied over the crown. These are available from stock in red, gold, silver and white.

Cork with Wire Hood

Wire hoods are used in combination with cork stoppers to create a package that works really well with the Belgian beer bottle for a unique, yet authentic European look. The 26.5mm beer wirehoods can be purchased from stock in plain colours such as gold, silver and black or they can be ordered in with a custom logo. Likewise the cork can be custom branded or unbranded.

Blyth Cowbell Brewing Co.

Blyth Cowbell Brewing Co.

Blyth Cowbell Brewing Co., based in Blyth, Ontario, came to us for help with creating their cork and wire hood closure for their Almanac barleywine.

Taking inspiration from their label and branding, we went with a black cap and black wire. They even chose to have their name printed on the cork for a unique look. Having the Cowbell logo and name on the top ensures easy identification. The end result is a sleek, modern yet classic look for a specialty beer.

PVC Shrink Capsule

Four Fathers Brewing Co.

Four Fathers Brewing Co.

Four Fathers Brewing Co. is a craft brewery located in Hespeler Village of Cambridge, Ontario, where they recently relocated from Rockwood.

We had the pleasure of working with them to create a range of capsules for their entire line of flagship beers. Each type of beer has a different coloured capsule; we chose the colour based on what would work best with each of their labels. This helps to create a uniform look across the line of beers, while ensuring that each beer style is identifiable.

Whether you choose crowns with foils, corks with wire hoods or plain old PVC’s to top your beer, the value of a specialty closure should never be overlooked. At A.O. Wilson, we can help you create the perfect closure for your beer that communicates your brand, style, and more. Contact us to get started.

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Corks are an essential part of the winery business. Corks may be small in size, but they can have a big impact on the quality, shelf-life, and taste of your wines.

With this in mind, Amorim has started to develop a new product and process to improve the quality of natural corks. Here’s what you need to know and how these new advancements could impact your wine business:

TCA-Free Corks

Amorim is one of the biggest suppliers of corks, and they’re on a mission to make all of their corks TCA-free by 2020. Trichloroanisole (TCA) is a potent chemical that may cause musty aromas and flavours in your wines, so having TCA-free corks could help your wines maintain their true flavours.

TCA is a naturally-occurring substance that you may find throughout your winery, so the fact that it is present in corks is not alarming or unusual. But Amorim’s commitment to providing wineries with the highest quality products means you’ll be able to continue producing high-quality wines.

NDtech Technology

So how does Amorim ensure that their corks remain TCA-free? Previously, this process hasn’t been possible without causing damage to the corks themselves. And when it comes to testing each cork, this process used to take up to 14 minutes per cork — a totally unsustainable amount of time for a production line in a winery.

However, with new developments in technology, Amorim has found a way to test one cork for TCA in 14 seconds. Amorim uses NDtech, a quality control screening technology. This technology allows Amorim to deliver the first TCA-free natural corks on the market. Any corks that go through this detection process must have less than 0.5 nanograms per litre of TCA to be considered TCA-free.

Amorim continues to work on this technology and are currently developing an automated process for TCA detection.

Better Corks, Better Wines

While there are plenty of options for stoppers on the market, nothing beats the quality of a natural cork. With this new technology and commitment to TCA-free natural corks, Amorim’s corks are truly the highest quality natural corks on the market.

Natural cork has an elasticity that provides an inviolable seal for your wines. The benefits of a natural cork stopper go all the way down to its basic cellular structure, which includes a combination of oxygen and complex phenolic compounds.

What does this mean for your wines? Cork will provide your wines with the properties they need to age properly in the bottles and increase their antioxidant properties. With Amorim’s new technology, you get all of the benefits of natural cork without the risk of TCA contamination.

A O Wilson has been a proud partner of Amorim’s for over 15 years, and we’re excited to carry this innovative, new product. Learn more about natural cork stoppers from Amorim, and contact us for help with finding the perfect cork stopper for your wines.