Brock University uncorks novel partnership

Research assistant Alexandra Gunn (BSc ’19) purges CCOVI’s donated wine into large totes to be delivered to Dillon's Small Batch Distillers and converted into hand sanitizer.

The Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Instituted has donated nearly 5,000 litres of wine to Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers in Beamsville, Ontario. That’s where the wine is transformed into approximately 1,000 bottles of hand sanitizer for the local community.


“When guests visit the institute’s wine cellar, they often ask us what we do with our research wine once the projects have ended,” explains Debbie Inglis, CCOVI director. “Thanks to this partnership, we can tell them the wine is being given a second life, as well as keeping our community safe and healthy in the process.”


Every year, the institute must discard the wine from completed staff and student research projects to make room in the cellar for new bottles. That research wine is purged and safely disposed of through a waste management program. When Inglis learned Dillon’s could use wine to aid in its hand sanitizer production efforts, she reached out to see how CCOVI could help.


“Dillon’s has been a client of CCOVI’s Analytical Services since 2012, so we had that pre-existing relationship already,” says Inglis.


Distiller Louis Hinshelwood says they make their hand sanitizer in much the same way as they distill their premium spirits. In this case, CCOVI’s donated wine enters a still and is heated to the boiling point, where it begins to release alcohol vapour. It is then run through a series of distillations that separate out the pure ethanol -- the medicinal ingredient in hand sanitizer -- before a mix of water, hydrogen peroxide and hand-moisturing glycerol is added to create a Health Canada-approved finished product.


Source:  Brock University August 26, 2020 news release


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Publish date: 
Wednesday, August 26, 2020

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