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TCA Laboratory specializes in performing chemical analysis for the Wine and Cork Industries. Our focus lies with the testing of wine, cork and cellar materials such as wood, cement and other specific materials for organohalogen compounds that are responsible for “cork taint” or mouldiness of bottled wine.

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Cork taint and Mouldy character in wine

Organohalogens are a large family of chemical compounds that are regarded as wine contaminants. These contaminants are more commonly known as TCA (2,4,6 Trichloroanisoles) and give a musty or corked character to wines (referred to as “cork taint”).

Organohalogens comprise of phenol-derivates carrying halogen-molecules (chlorine, bromide) on different carbon atoms of the phenolic structures. Once these halogen phenols are formed, moulds convert them through the process of biomethylation into more volatile forms known as halogen anisoles. These compounds are responsible for cork taint (TCA) and mouldiness (TeCA, PCA) in wines. The use of chlorine-based chemicals and the presence of moulds due to poor cellar hygiene practices are some of the main causes for mouldiness and cork-taint in wines.