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Aroma-boosting winemaking gadget designed in Okanagan sold around the world

Winemaker Jason Centanni smiles beside his AromaLoc at Llano Estacado Winery in Texas.
Winemaker Jason Centanni smiles beside his AromaLoc at Llano Estacado Winery in Texas.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/AromaLoc

A Naramata inventor’s product is turning heads in the U.S.

Dr. Dick Jones has found a way to increase the natural aroma inside a bottle of wine and his product has been nominated for a 2021 WINnovation Award, which is run by the Wine Industry Network in California.

“When we say, ‘Think your wine is good? AromaLoc will make it better,’ that’s not just an empty marketing slogan,” Dr. Jones said in a press release issued, Oct. 4. “We mean it. It’s great to see commercial wineries and leading industry organizations agreeing. We’re proud we’re helping cement the Okanagan as a global leader in wine industry innovation.”

The winemaking process gives the nearby area a pleasant smell and Dr. Jones developed a technology to keep the aroma in the wine so it can be enjoyed by the drinker. His invention was patented in North America and wine regions around the world.

When latched onto the top of a stainless steel winery tank during the fermentation process, his machine solves this problem of lost aroma.

“First of all, it’s non-invasive — the liquid wine isn’t manipulated in any way. Secondly, nothing is added to the wine. Thirdly, it’s easy to install and simple to operate. Fourthly, it’s not expensive. And most importantly, it really works.”

READ MORE: iN VIDEO: New wine, new look for downtown Penticton winery

The original concept has been further refined over the past five years since Dr. Jones teamed up with two partners, Paul Gardner, co-owner of Pentâge Winery in Penticton and a marine engineer, and Walter Meyer from Penticton who's a retired businessman and an amateur winemaker. In 2016, the three formed the company AromaLoc.

The machines have been purchased by wineries in the U.S., Eastern Canada, Germany and Russia. They are also are being used for experimentation at viticultural universities in Germany, and in Spain, Italy, California and Oregon for commercial trials.

“It’s kind of ironic — we have commercial wineries, from Texas to Russia, enthusiastically using AromaLoc, all of them saying essentially the same thing, that AromaLoc is easy to use, is cost-effective, and best of all, it really works — and so far we only have a single installation here in our own B.C. backyard,” AromaLoc communications director Randy Morse said in the release.

WINnovation recognizes positive contributions in advancing the North American wine industry. This year’s winners will be announced in November, and the award ceremony will be held in Sonoma in December.

Winemaker Richard Charnock, left, and Pentage Winery executive winemaker Paul Garder pose for a photo in Penticton.
Winemaker Richard Charnock, left, and Pentage Winery executive winemaker Paul Garder pose for a photo in Penticton.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/AromaLoc

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