The Wine Crush Is On

Why Wineries select Dicalite 4200 Diatomaceous Earth for Wine Filtration

Glass of white wine

It’s that time of year again: the Wine Crush. This is a busy few weeks for wineries, as the grapes need to be picked quickly before an unseasonable rain destroys crops. While they’re busy harvesting, Dicalite is busy sending Dicalite 4200 Diatomaceous Earth to the wineries. Today, we’re taking a look at wine filtration and why diatomaceous earth is a popular choice.

Why Do Some Vintners Filter Wine?

Wine is best enjoyed when free of questionable particles floating around in the bottle or cup. You have probably seen some yourself when you reach the end of a bottle and solids pour into the glass with the last drops. Or maybe you set down your glass and return an hour later to discover deposits on the bottom.

Instabilities Found in Wine

Take a look at the list below. While all of them are safe for consumption, do you want to consume any of the following?:

  • Grape protein hazes: These solids affect the appearance and texture of wine, making it look hazy and murky. Bentonite fining is frequently used to remove the protein haze.
  • Tartrate crystals: Potassium bitartrate crystals are commonly found in wine because grapes contain potassium and tartaric acid. In white wine, it looks like little glass shards. In red wine, it looks like residual color or pieces of oak/wood. The crystals have a gritty texture.
  • Yeast and bacteria: These are caused by insufficient filtration or yeast/bacterial growth post-bottling. Some vintners like to leave the wine unfiltered, letting residual yeast lees add to the wine texture. 
  • Fining agents: Some fining agents used when clarifying are derived from egg, fish, gelatine, or milk. Residual fining agents can sometimes be found in wine in small amounts.

Why Wineries select Dicalite 4200 Diatomaceous Earth for Wine Filtration

Diatomaceous Earth for Filtration

Diatomaceous earth is the naturally occurring fossilized remains of diatoms—single-celled aquatic algae. This near-pure sedimentary deposit consists almost entirely of silica. It is a popular filtration medium across many industries because of its unique shape. The diatoms have a wide variety of shapes and a honeycomb-like structure—which you’d need a microscope to see. the packing of the small diatoms is irregular and creates a complex matrix with very high porosity. This allows the filter media to both remove very small particles and extend the flow rate of the material being filtered.

For wine filtration, the pores of diatomaceous earth within and between the cell walls are so small, they trap proteins, tartrate crystals, yeast and bacteria, and other suspended solids from liquids. This leaves your wine cleaner and clearer with drastically reduced solids and contaminant levels. Vintners use diatomaceous earth for wine filtration alone, or it’s used as the second step in the filtering process.

When comparing diatomaceous earth for filtration, the 4200 grade sits perfectly in the middle of Dicalite’s industry-leading fast filter aid grades, specifically, between Dicalite’s 4200 and 5000 grades. In 2019, Dicalite’s 4200 “fast grade” represented the second-highest-ranking product at ~ 12% of total tonnage sold, trailing only the dominance of Dicalite’s Speedplus grade.


  • Type: Flux-calcined
  • Color: White
  • SiO2 %: >90
  • Apparent Bulk Density lbs/ft3: 15-18
  • Max Density Wet lbs/ft3: 23.1
  • Permeability (PFRv): 165-190 (2.72-3.61 darcys)
  • Moisture Content wt. %: <0.5
  • pH (10% slurry): 8-11
  • Specific Gravity: 2.33
  • Approved by several government agencies as a food and beverage processing aid

And most importantly, diatomaceous earth does not impart any odor or foreign taste to the wine.

Consistent Product

This high-grade diatomaceous earth is mined from the deposit at our Burney, California location and is a direct-run product, ensuring Dicalite 4200 is more consistent on our customers’ filters and requires less adjustment due to DE variations. This allows the customer to focus efforts on process variations without concern for the additional variations from filter aid.

Allergen-Free and Vegan

Good filtration practices ensure minimal residual protein remains in the final wine, at amounts not associated with adverse reactions in consumers who have food allergies. All Dicalite diatomaceous earth products–including 4200–do not contain milk, lactose, egg, fish, gelatin which ensures vintners can make wines suitable to all palate, including vegans.

Request Your Free Sample of Dicalite 4200 Diatomaceous Earth for Wine Filtration & More

We can accommodate vineyards of all sizes. Call us today at 866-728-3303 for a free sample to learn how diatomaceous earth experts at Dicalite Management Group can help your filtration process. Our sales team works closely with our technical services team to ensure your product is perfect for your application.

Use our Product Search Database to search and find your mineral solution and all the technical information related to it. At any moment in time, you can access our products’ Technical Data Sheets (TDS), Safety Data Sheets (SDS), and sales support materials (when applicable). Find the right mineral solution is easy: simply apply filters so you only see the products relevant to you.

If you’d like to learn more about using minerals for filtration, download our free e-book A World of Filtration Experience today.

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