International Code of Oenological Practices

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Chemical acidification

II. Chemical acidification


  • Malic acid (D,L-, L-): additive
  • Lactic acid: additive
  • Tartaric acid: additive


Increasing the titration acidity and the actual acidity (decreasing pH) by adding organic acids.

Objectives :

a)        Produce balanced wines from the gustatory point of view;

b)       Favor a good biological evolution and good maturation of wine;

c)        Remedy insufficient natural acidity caused by:

  • climatic conditions in the viticultural region, or
  • oenological practices which lead to a decrease in natural acidity


a)        Lactic acid, L(-) or DL malic acid and L(+) tartaric acid are the only acids that can be used;

b)       The addition of acids should not be done to conceal fraud;

c)        The addition of mineral acids is forbidden;

d)       Chemical acidification and chemical de-acidification are mutually exclusive;

e)       The acids used must conform to the International Oenological Codex standards

f)         Acids can be only be added to musts under condition that the initial acidity content is not raised by more than 54 meq/l (i.e. 4 g/l expressed in tartaric acid),

When must and wine are acidified, the net cumulative increase must not exceed 54 meq/l (or 4 g/l expressed in tartaric acid),


Recommendation of the OIV: