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Name for the crystalline mixture of poorly soluble salts of tartaric acid, mainly potassium hydrogen tartrate (also potassium bitartrate) or, to a lesser extent, calcium tartrate, which is formed by combining tartaric acid with potassium or calcium. Prose names are wine diamonds or wine stars. Tartar is particularly common in wines made from overripe or late-harvested grapes, 90% of which is potassium hydrogen tartrate. It precipitates in the form of glass splinters similar to small crystals, sticks and leaves. This can already take place in the fermentation or maturation tank (raw tartar), especially during cold treatment. The formation of crystals increases with rising alcohol content, low temperature and rising pH value (from 3.2). Colour changes or calcium turbidity may also occur.

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Egon Mark

For me, Lexicon from wein.plus is the most comprehensive and best source of information about wine currently available.

Egon Mark
Diplom-Sommelier, Weinakademiker und Weinberater, Volders (Österreich)

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