International Code of Oenological Practices

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Chemical acidification

II. Chemical acidification


  • Lactic acids, L(-): Additive
  • D,L malic acid: Additive
  • L(+) tartaric acid: Additive
  • citric acid: Additive


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


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 viticulture region, or
  • oenological practices which lead to a decrease in natural acidity


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

b)       Citric acid content in wine after this procedure should not exceed the limit established in Annex C of the International Collection of Methods for Wine and Must Analysis

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

d)       The addition of mineral acids is forbidden;

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

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

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

When musts and wine are acidified, the cumulated dose must not exceed a net cumulative increase of 54 meq/l (or 4 g/l expressed as tartaric acid),

Recommendation of the OIV: