Tartaric Acid

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

tartaric acid, the most important of the acids found in grapes and wine. Of all the natural organic acids found in plants, this is one of the rarer. The grape is the only fruit of significance that is a tartrate accumulator, and yet it is of critical importance to the winemaker because of the major part it plays in the taste of the wine. Furthermore, because tartaric acid exists in wine partially as the intact acid and partially as the acid tartrate, or bitartrate ion, it is the principal component of the mixture of acids and salts that constitutes wine’s all-important buffer system (see buffering capacity) and maintains the stability of its acidity and colour.