Racking “vs” Purging

We rack wines but we also rack olive oils. In order for the olive oil to retain the highest level of quality, it should be separated from any sediment and water remaining after extraction.

There are typically two approaches:

Purging: where the sediment and water are removed from the bottom of the tanks which is only possible for oil stored in tanks with an outlet at the bottom.

Racking: is where the oil is pumped from the top into a clean container, leaving the sediment and water at the bottom.

Many producers find that racking is easier to do than purging and does a better separating job. It does oxygenate the oil, however, so it should always be done with as little force as possible and preferably under nitrogen or argon gas.