Impact of yeast derivatives to increase the phenolic maturity and aroma intensity of wine

Using viticultural and enological techniques to increase aromatics in white wine is a prized yet challenging technique for commercial wine producers. Equally difficult are challenges encountered in hastening phenolic maturity and thereby increasing color intensity in red wines. The ability to alter organoleptic and visual properties of wines plays a decisive role in vintages in which grapes are not able to reach full maturity, which is seen increasingly more often as a result of climate change. A new, yeast-based product on the viticultural market may give the opportunity to increase sensory properties of finished wines. Manufacturer packaging claims these yeast derivatives intensify wine aromas of white grape varieties, as well as improve phenolic ripeness of red varieties, but the effects of this application have been little researched until now. The current study applied the yeast derivative, according to the manufacture’s instructions, to the leaves of both neutral and aromatic white wine varieties, as well as on structured red wine varieties. Chemical parameters and volatile aromatics were analyzed in grape musts and finished wines, and all wines were subjected to sensory analysis by a tasting panel. Collective results of all analyses showed that the application of the yeast derivative in the vineyard showed no effect across all varieties examined, and did not intensify white wine aromatics, nor improve phenolic ripeness and color intensity in red wine.

Authors: Christoph Patauner, Alex Tavernar and Eva Überegger

Laimburg Research Centre, Alto Adige, Italy 

Email: alex.tavernar@laimburg.it

Keywords: aroma intensity of wine, phenolic maturity, yeast derivatives

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