Research: Grape Composition/Wine Quality

Flavor, aroma, and color compounds; sugar development


Bavaresco, L. (2003). “Role of viticultural factors on stilbene concentrations of grapes and wine.” Drugs under Experimental and Clinical Research 29(5-6): 181-187.

Stilbenes are phenolics that can be found in different grapevine organs, such as berries, leaves, canes and roots. Stilbenes act as antifungal compounds since they are synthesized by the plant in response to pathogen attack. Other abiotic elicitors, such as ultraviolet rays and heavy metals, can trigger stilbene production. Many stilbenic compounds have been detected in grapes and wine (resveratrol, piceid, viniferins, astringin, etc.). The latest stilbene to be analyzed is piceatannol (or astringinin). Stilbene synthesis in grapes depends on different viticultural factors such as the grape variety, the environment and cultural practices. Concerning grape variety, red berry-grapes have higher stilbene levels than white berry-grapes. With regard to climate, preliminary results suggest a positive correlation between vineyard elevation and stilbene grape concentrations. Qualityoriented cultural practices produce grapes with high levels of stilbenes. Berries of Vitis vinifera L. cv. Barbera were infected, at veraison and during ripening, by a conidial suspension of A. japonicus, A. ochraceus, A. fumigatus and two isolates of A. carbonarius to control ochratoxin A production and stilbene induced synthesis. The experimental design provided also for intact and punctured berries and incubation temperature of 25 degrees C and 30 degrees C. All the tested fungi, except A. fumigatus, significantly increased trans-resveratrol synthesis over the control, while trans-piceid was not affected; only A. ochraceus significantly elicited the berries to synthesize piceatannol. The two isolates of A. carbonarius produced higher amounts of ochratoxin A than did the other fungi. A positive correlation between ochratoxin A and trans-resveratrol synthesis occurred. trans-Resveratrol and piceatannol showed fungicidal activity against A. carbonarius, being able to completely inhibit fungal growth at a concentration of 300 micro g/g and 20 micro g/g, respectively. (Language: English)


Bertamini, M., G. Ponchia, et al. (1996). “Environmental effects on yield, growth and grape composition of Sauvignon Blanc in alpine viticulture of Trentino (N.E. Italy).” Proceedings of the Fourth International Symposium on Cool Climate Viticulture and Enology: I-16-I-22.

The experiments were conducted in 7 environments representative of the different conditions in Trentino, Italy, and 7 clones (INRA 108, 316, 161; ENTAV 2452, 376, 377; and VCR3) of Sauvignon Blanc were investigated. ENTAV 377 and VCR3 were grafted on to SO4 rootstock, and the other clones were grafted on to 3309C, 41B and SO4 rootstocks, resulting in 17 clone/rootstock combinations in each vineyard. Plants were spaced 2.8 x 0.8 m apart, were trained on one-armed trellises and were pruned to 2 canes with 8 buds each. Increasing altitude significantly reduced cluster weights, shoot fertility, soluble solids and yields, and increased titratable acidity and malic acid concentrations. At an altitude of 400-600 m, in sites with clay-loam soils on plateaus, cluster weights were reduced compared with clay-loam sites with high slope and southerly exposure. The suitable conditions for Sauvignon Blanc production in Trentino are discussed. (Language: English)


Boselli, M. (1996). “Suitability of grapes from the Ariano Irpino area for sparkling wine production.” Vignevini 23(1/2).

The viticultural features (soil, altitude, temp., grafting stock) of the Ariano Irpino area (Avellino province, Italy) of relevance for production of grapes for sparkling wine manufacture are discussed. Cv. considered suitable for expanding this sector of the wine market are Greco di Tufo, Fiano di Avellino and Coda di Volpe. Changes in the titratable acidity, pH, and tartaric and malic acid contents of Chardonnay musts are reported, to illustrate the influence of different vine grafting stocks on grape and must composition. (Language: Italian)


Calame, F., M. Rochaix, et al. (1977). “Phenological observations and bioclimatic measurements at several Valais viticultural sites at different altitudes in order to demarcate the viticultural area.” Bulletin de l’ OIV 50(559): 601-616.

The climate, vine phenological stages and must quality of a hillside vineyard, at between 500 and 900 m altitude, were studied in the Conthey region of Valais between 1973 and 1976. The average maximum temperatures were found to fall by 1 deg C/100 m but the average minimum temperatures were 0.7 deg higher half-way up the vineyard than in the valley. Delays of 7-15 days were observed between vine phenological stages at the foot and at the top of the slope. This delay in growth, more marked for cv. Pinot than for Chasselas, was reflected in lower must Oechsle values and a greater total acidity with rising altitude. (Language: French)


Failla, O., L. Mariani, et al. (2004). “Spatial distribution of solar radiation and its effects on vine phenology and grape ripening in an alpine environment.” American journal of enology and viticulture; 2004; 55(2): 55(2).

Climate, soil, and vineyard performance were characterized in the northern Italian alpine valley of Valtellina, Italy to develop an ecophysiological model for zoning viticultural aptitude of the district. Based on a representative sample of 54 small, steep-sloped terraced vineyards planted with the late-ripening red cv. Nebbiolo, the model included 3- year (1998 to 2000) data sets for phenology, maturity curves, yield, vigour, and grape assays, with appropriate indices to manage these sets. Soils were characterized by pedological description and climate by annual values of potential photosynthetically active radiation (PPAR) and estimated thermal fields expressed as growing degree days (GDD) using base 10 degrees C. PPAR ranged from 2700 to 3200 MJm-2year-1 and GDD ranged from 1100 to 1800. Vineyards showed a 12-day range in phenological timing, with early sites having the highest technological maturity and medium sites having the highest phenolic maturity. Elevation and PPAR were the main environmental factors affecting vine budbreak and bloom date; veraison was also affected by crop load and its interaction with PPAR availability. Technological maturity was affected by elevation; phenolic maturity by crop load, PPAR, and its interaction with crop load and elevation. The highest phenolic maturity was recorded in low-cropping vineyards at low elevation and PPAR. (Language: English)


Iacono, F., F. Romano, et al. (1990). “Sensory approach to characterization of Trentino base wines for sparkling winemaking.” Vignevini 17(10).

Tests were carried out on base wines for sparkling winemaking, made from Chardonnay cv. grapes grown in 27 vineyards throughout the whole of the Trentino region of Italy, to determine whether the wines could be characterized solely on the basis of sensory and agronomic characteristics. A team of 20 trained taste panellists used a parametric system, developed by the authors’ institutes, involving 9 specified flavour notes which corresponded to known wine constituents, e.g. ‘banana-pineapple’ = esters, ‘flowery’ = linalool. The system also took into account agronomic factors, specifically vineyard location and altitude and grape ripening characteristics. Results (given in tables and graphs) showed that the system successfully demonstrated the existence of a link between the wines’ sensory profile and the agronomic factors, and could provide a useful tool for wine characterization. (Language: Italian)


Katona, J. (1977). “Relationship between environment and biochemical characteristics of grapes in some wines.” Bulletin de l’O I V 50(557/558).

With the long-term aims of improving the quality of wines, and calculating what additional watering or fertilization is necessary for the cultivar, the optimum biological environment and ecological conditions for the growth of vines have been studied in Hungary, notably at the Pecs experimental station. Climate, type of soil and its chemical composition, relief of the country, altitude and aspect of the vineyards, intensity of the light and amount of sunshine were taken into account. 2000 samples of Hungarian wines were analysed for 7 successive yr, and results compared with relevant meteorological data. Relationships between the number of h sunshine and the sugar content of the must and between the temp. factor and the alcohol content were established. (Language: French)


Mateus, N., J. M. Machado, et al. (2002). “Development changes of anthocyanins in Vitis vinifera grapes grown in the Douro Valley and concentration in respective wines.” Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 82(14): 1689-1695.

Touriga Nacional and Touriga Francesa red Vitis vinifera cultivars were sampled from two vineyard sites at different altitudes during three consecutive vintage years (1997, 1998, and 1999) in the Douro Valley, Portugal. The total anthocyanidin monoglucosides (AMGs) detected by HPLC/DAD and the red colour of grape skin extracts were monitored during the last month of maturation. Microvinifications were performed with the grapes studied and the resulting Port wines were analysed. Malvidin 3-glucoside and its acylated esters were the major AMGs irrespective of cultivar at harvest date. Vineyard altitude, together with other variables, was an important factor contributing to the amount of anthocyanin compounds found in grapes of Touriga Nacional and Touriga Francesa. Overall, the climatic conditions (relative humidity, air temperature, precipitation, total radiation, and photosynthetically active radiation) observed at higher vineyard sites appeared to be advantageous, resulting in larger amounts of AMGs in grapes. The same outcome was obtained in the resulting wines, which showed higher levels of AMGs when made from grapes grown at higher altitude, especially for Touriga Francesa. (Language: English)


Mateus, N., S. Marques, et al. (2001). “Proanthocyanidin composition of red Vitis vinifera varieties from the douro valley during ripening: influence of cultivation altitude.” American journal of enology and viticulture; 2001; 52(2): 115 121 52(2): 115-121.

The effect of altitude and its related climatic conditions on the proanthocyanidin composition of Touriga Nacional and Touriga Francesa cultivars during berry maturation is reported for the 1997 vintage. At berry maturation, low altitude is shown to be an important factor favouring the biosynthesis of higher concentrations of grape-skin catechin monomers ((+)-catechin, (-)-epicatechin, (-)-epicatechin gallate), procyanidin dimers, trimer C1, as well as total extractable proanthocyanidins. The grapes (skin and seeds) of Touriga Nacional were found to be richer in low molecular weight flavan-3-ol compounds, while Touriga Francesa contained higher concentrations of total extractable proanthocyanidins. At harvest, grape-skin dimer content was comprised almost entirely of dimer B1, followed by dimers B2 and B3, whereas C4-C8 linked dimers (B1 to B4) and B2-gallate were the most abundant found in seeds. Dimer B2, which was one of the less important dimers at the early stage of development in seeds, showed a tendency to increase during ripening, while its respective gallate ester (B2-gallate) markedly decreased. (Language: English)


Mateus, N., S. Proenca, et al. (2001). “Grape and wine polyphenolic composition of red Vitis vinifera varieties concerning vineyard altitude.” Ciencia y Tecnologia Alimentaria 3(2): 102-110.

Effects of altitude of the vineyard (and its associated climactic parameters) on polyphenols concn. of red winemaking grapes of the cv. Touriga Nacional and Touriga Francesa, and the resulting Port wines, were evaluated. Trials were conducted at 2 altitudes (100-150 or 250-350 m) in a vineyard in the Douro region of Portugal in 1997. Concn. of catechin monomers ((+)-catechin, (-)-epicatechin and(-)-epicatechin-Ogallate), procyanidin oligomers (B1-B8, B2-3”-O-gallate and trimer C1) and total extractable proanthocyanidins were determined at harvest in grape skins and seeds, and anthocyanin concn. were determined in the grape skin. Sensory properties and composition of Port wines made from these grapes were also determined. Anthocyanin concn. were greater in skins of grapes grown at higher altitude, whereras procyanidin components in skin and seeds were higher at lower altitudes. Anthocyanin levels were higher, but colour intensity lower, in wines made from grapes grown at the higher altitude. Implications for wine quality are discussed; it is suggested that, overall, wine quality was higher for grapes grown at the lower altitude. This was especially true for sensory properties of wines made from Touriga Nacional grapes. (Language: Spanish)


Miguel-Tabares, J. A., B. Martin-Luis, et al. (2002). “Effect of altitude on the wine-making potential of Listan negro and Ruby Cabernet cultivars in the South of Tenerife island.” Journal International Des Sciences De La Vigne Et Du Vin 36(4): 185-194.

In the south of the island of Tenerife (Valle de Guimar), a study was made of the composition of the grape and fundamentally in colour potential during the ripening of the red varieties Listan negro and Ruby Cabernet in two vineyards located at different heights above sea level. The conventional ripening parameters and total and extractable anthocyanin content have been determined in order to estimate all the main characteristic phenolic. Significant differences were detected between the varieties, along with a clear influence of vineyard altitude on accumulation of colour and phenolic substances in the grapes. (Language: English)


Naito, R., N. Ueda, et al. (1965). “The influence of the altitude of the vineyard on the quality of grapes.” Shimane-Naka-Daigaku-Kenkyu-Hokoku/Bull-Shimane-agric-Coll 14: 14-17.

When grown at a high altitude, Delaware and DK151 reached maturity 12 days later than when grown at a lower altitude; similarly, Super Hamburg and Muscat were 4-5 days later. The strains of Delaware and DK151, which are red grapes, contained a higher anthocyanin content when grown at the higher altitude; no such difference was observed in the other two varieties, which are black grapes. (Language: Japanese)


Oliveira, C., A. C. Ferreira, et al. (2004). “Effect of some viticultural parameters on the grape carotenoid profile.” Journal of agricultural and food chemistry; 2004 June 30; 52(13): 4178 4184 52(13): 4178-4184.

The effect of some viticultural parameters on the grape carotenoid profile was investigated. Grape cultivar, ripeness stage, sunlight and shade exposure, altitude, and vegetative height were studied. Differences between cultivars were observed in eight different black grape varieties: Touriga Brasileira (TBR), Tinta Barroca (TB), Tinta Amarela (TA), Souzao (S), Touriga Franca (TF), Touriga Nacional (TN), Tinta Roriz (TR), and Tinto Cao (TC), from the Douro region. TA and TBR clearly produced higher concentrations of carotenoids. Results showed that carotenoid content decreased during ripening. Decreases of lutein were observed until 66%, whereas b-carotene slowly decreased, having a constant level until the harvest date. Carotenoid contents were consistently higher in grapes exposed to shade than in those exposed to direct sunlight in both studied white grape varieties, Maria Gomes (MG) and Loureiro (L). In the Douro Valley, high-elevation terraces, which presented a lower temperature and higher humidity during the maturation period, appeared to produce grapes with higher carotenoid values. Grapes grown with higher vegetative height seem to have higher carotenoid levels; furthermore, grapes grown with lower vegetative height had higher weight and sugar concentrations. (Language: English)


Ponchia, G., M. Bertamini, et al. (2002). “Environmental effects on the growth, yield, grape composition and wine quality of Chardonnay in Trentino area.” Italus Hortus 9(2): 3-8.

The performance of grape cv. Chardonnay was studied in 14 vineyards of varying altitude (between 300 ad 730 m) in Trentino, Italy. Plant growth significantly varied among the vineyards. Highly significant variation was also observed for the number of shoots, weight of pruned wood per vine, number and weight of clusters, and yield per vine. Except for one vineyard, grape production and pruning wood ratio showed low variability. With the increase in altitude, the soluble solids content of the must was greatly reduced, but the titratable acidity, pH and organoleptic characteristics of the wine were not significantly affected. Generally, Chardonnay appeared to be adapted to various environmental conditions. (Language: Italian)


Schubert, A., C. Lovisolo, et al. (2004). “Territorial and bioclimatic description of the area of the Moscato docg in Piedmont.” Informatore-Agrario 60(46): 63-68.

Based on data (1997-2001) from 16 automatic weather stations in the area producing Moscato d’Asti docg wine and on phenological data from 30 Moscato Bianco vineyards in the same area, and combining these with geo-morphological data, such as site altitude and orientation, a series of digital maps on a scale of 1:25 000 were produced. These showed temperature range, date of sprouting, flowering and fruit set, as well as the alcohol potential and total acidity of the must. Linear correlations were analysed showing significant relationships between these variables. Geo-morphological and bio-climatic variability were shown to have a greater effect than geology and soil factors on grape quality. The maps provide a valuable indication of the optimal time for grape harvest at the different sites. They are useful tools for planning vineyard management. (Language: Italian)


Stoychev, S. (2001). “Soil conditions, moisture stocks and grape-vine yields in the region of Perushtitsa.” Pochvoznanie, Agrokhimiya i Ekologiya 36(4/6): 71-73.

The different soil varieties distribution in the land, belonging to the town of Perushtitsa, Plovdiv county, is considered. It is established that the soils differ between themselves in their structure, composition and properties, they are suitable for grape-vines cultivating and are typical of the Pazardjik – Plovdiv region of Southern Bulgaria. Under the conditions of the region hilly relief, with rising of the level difference of the Northwestern slope the quantity of the fallen precipitation rises too. On the shorter and lower Northeastern slope, leeward towards the basic moisture transportation, the precipitation amount diminishes with the height. The stocks of available moisture of the soil during the period from “sap-movement beginning” till “mass blooming” are optimum and the grape-vine vegetation runs faster in the middle part of the slope. During the period “mass blooming”-“mass physiological maturity” the moisture stocks are insufficient everywhere and this period runs faster in the valley. The peculiarities of the microclimatic conditions of the hilly relief are shown best upon the grape size and upon the mean weight of the clusters. In the valley these indicators are biggest, up the slope they diminish. Up the slope the sugar content in the grape-juice rises, but the acids in it are changed in the opposite direction. (Language: Bulgarian)


Tomasi, D., A. Calo, et al. (2000). “Effects of the Microclimate on the Vegetative and Aromatic Response in Sauvignon Blanc.” Rivista Viticoltura e di Enologia 53(2/3): 27-44.

Microclimate changes in a vineyard (Sauvignon b. clone R3) in the Berici hills, Italy, were studied during 1992-93 and 1995-97. A soil depression caused the development of different climate conditions between the lower and upper zone of the vineyard. Plant development and fruit ripening were studied in response to these microclimate differences. The upper zone had a higher average temperature than the lower zone, but the lower zone had a greater range of temperatures, and had the lowest temperature at night and the warmest temperature in the day. Plant development and fruit ripening were delayed at lower temperatures. Grape quality and wine quality were better from the lower zone of the vineyard. Differences in the chemical composition of fruits (sugars and secondary metabolites including terpenoids) were observed in fruits obtained from the lower and upper zones of the vineyard. Fruits obtained from the lower zone were judged to be ‘more typical’. (Language: English)


Vercesi, A. (1991). “Pinot noir thinning trials in Oltrepo Pavese, N. Italy.” Vignevini 18(7/8).

During 1989-1990, Pinot noir cv. grapes were thinned manually at 0, 30 and 50% of the clusters during veraison in 2 different vineyards (altitude, 200 and 450 m above sea level), and effects on grape production characteristics (yield, wt.) and must composition (sugar). (Language: Italian)


Veres, A. and A. Valachovic (1978). “Phenological observations and bioclimatic statistics on certain vinegrowing areas of Czechoslovakia at different altitudes, with a view to the demarcation of vineyards.” Bulletin de l’O I V 51(564).

12 vine-growing areas of Czechoslovakia were compared in respect of latitude, climate, altitude (120-300 m), the local interaction of the last two, aspect, and especially frost risk. Italian Riesling vines grown in these areas in 1968-1970 were studied for dates of flowering, setting, and ripening, the length of the growing period, the yield and wt. of grapes, and their acidity (range 15.8 (Skalice-Zahoria)-8.4 g/l. (Tokay)) and must sugar content (range 15.4-… (Language: French)