Sulfur Dioxide Use in Wineries

WE ARE NAPA COUNTY

Agricultural Commissioner Sealer of Weights and Measures

Greg Clark, Agricultural Commissioner Sealer of Weights and Measures

Sulfur Dioxide Use in Wineries

The use of sulfur dioxide (SO2) in wineries falls into pesticidal and non-pesticidal uses. The use of SO2 to sanitize empty wine barrels and corks is a pesticidal use by definition, and as such requires that the product used be a registered pesticide. By contrast, the use of SO2 in wine to control oxidation or as a preservative is a non-pesticidal use. Currently the only SO2 product registered for use in barrel and cork sanitation is the federally restricted-use pesticide, The Fruit Doctor, Snowden Enterprise, Inc (EPA Registration Number 11195-1).

Because of the Fruit Doctor’s restricted use status, wineries must meet certain regulatory requirements to purchase and use the product:

  • Wineries will need to obtain an operator identification number from the agricultural commissioner and present it to the product distributor at the time of the purchase. To make an appointment to obtain an operator identification number, call our office at (707) 253-4357, Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5 pm.
  • Wineries will need a qualified applicator certificate holder to purchase and use the SO2. To become certified, a winery representative will need to pass an examination administered by DPR. The examinee must pass the Laws, Regulations and Basic Principles examination along with the category P (Microbial Pest Control) exam. Proof of this certification will need to be presented to the distributor at the time of the purchase. 
  • Wineries will need to keep records of how much SO2 they use on a monthly basis and submit to the agricultural commissioner a monthly summary pesticide use report.

 

Related Information:

2013 Exam Schedule - Department of Pesticide Regulation
California Department of Pesticide Regulation Laws and Regulations Study Guide, 2011 Edition
Microbial Pest Control Study Guide
SO2 in wineries: Explaining requirements for sulfur dioxide use (PDF)
SO2 Use In Wineries/Respiratory Protection Requirements (Enforcement Letter)