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Name for the crystalline mixture of sparingly 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. Prosaic names are wine diamonds or wine stars. Tartrate 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 small crystals, rods and leaves similar to glass splinters. This can already occur in the fermentation or ageing tank (raw wine stone), especially during cold treatment. The formation of crystals increases with increasing alcohol content, low temperature and rising pH value (from 3.2). Colour changes or calcium clouding may also occur.

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