International Code of Oenological Practices

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II.3.2.3 Racking


  • Nitrogen: processing aid
  • Argon: processing aid

Definition :

Operation involving the transfer of wine from one wine container to another by allowing the separation of solid deposits from the liquid.


a)        Separate wine from the lees, and/or the deposits resulting from the addition of clarifying agents, deposited at the bottom of the container

b)       Separate the wine from the micro-organisms at the end of the alcoholic and/or malolactic fermentation, or the bacterial or yeast sediment

c)        Enable the carrying out of all wine making operations, treatment or transportation of wines.

d)       Enable the tartaric stabilization by cooling and the separation of tartrate crystals (potassium bitartrate and calcium tartrate).

Prescriptions :

Racking can occur:

a)        Either in the absence of air to avoid oxidation,

b)       Or with aeration to eliminate hydrogen sulfide or to reduce carbon dioxide or to create controlled oxidation,

c)        Or at room temperature, or after cooling to avoid possible carbonic gas loss,

d)       Or using the law of interconnected vessels, either with pumps or hand containers

e)       In the case of racking in the absence of air, the container to be filled must be rendered inert with carbon dioxide, nitrogen or with argon. These gases must comply with International Oenological Codex prescriptions.

Recommendation of OIV: