´Vinho Verde´ wines production from differential fermentation: the role of musts sulphitation as a preservation strategy to keep the musts character

High-volume mass-market white wines production method by means of harvest-deferred fermentation from desulphited musts allows an efficient business management by avoiding the seasonality in wine sector. This technology has been used in the production of light and fresh wines from Vinhos Verdes Appellation (VVA – Portugal). This Appellation presents a diversity of varieties and wine styles, and is known for producing light and fresh wines, but also mineral, complex and structured ones, with, in general, low ethanol content. The light and fresh VV wines are characterized by herbaceous, citrus, tropical fruits, orchard fruits and floral notes. Thus, the goal of this work was to unveil based on physical-chemical data if sulphitated musts from VVA preserve the organoleptic potential that allows the production of high-volume wines with the typical light and fresh VV character. A set of musts were produced at industrial scale from grapes harvested from different sub-regions of VVA, which were then sulphited and stored for 1 year. For comparison purpose, sulphitated musts from Beira Atlântico and Trás-os-Montes Portuguese regions were also characterized. Free volatile and glycosidically-linked compounds were determined by advanced gas chromatography (GC×GC-ToFMS). The physical-chemical parameters currently used in musts quality control were also determined. Statistical tools were applied by combining all data domains. The aroma potential of musts was performed based on the construction of aroma networks [1].A total of 145 volatile compounds were putative identified, which varied from 136 to 142, in must from Cávado and Lima sub-regions, respectively. Regarding the glycosidically-linked fraction, 29 compounds were putatively identified, which varied from 20 to 24 in must from Cávado and Amarante sub-regions. Clustering analysis unveiled the formation of 3 main clusters, one of which includes all VVA musts, which allows to infer that geographical region is the main distinguishing factor. VVA musts were characterized with higher total acidity, and lower °Brix, potency alcoholic strength and density, compared with the samples from other regions. Moreover, esters, monoterpenic and sesquiterpenic compounds detected in VVA musts may contribute with citrus, floral, orchard and tropical fruits aromas, which are relevant aromas for sensory characteristics of VV wines. Thus, must sulphitation, a methodology used to extend its preservation beyond the harvest season, seems to keep the particular musts character, which is extremely important for the consistency of light and fresh high-volume VV wines.

Acknowledgments: This work was funded under the project PRECIDIF – Precision Management of new Vinho Verde wines production from differential fermentation, project nº 24214. FCT/MEC for financial support LAQV-REQUIMTE (UIDB/50006/2020) through national funds and co-financed by the FEDER and PT2020.

Authors: Rocha Silvia1, Martins Cátia1, Fontes Natacha2, Cunha e Silva Sara2 and Graça António2

1LAQV-REQUIMTE & Department of Chemistry, University of Aveiro
2Sogrape Vinhos, S.A.

*corresponding author: smrocha@ua.pt


[1] Y-Y Ahn, SE Ahnert, JP Bagrow, A-L Barabási, Flavor network and the principles of food pairing, Scientific reports (2011) 1, 196.

Keywords: white must sulphitation; free volatile compounds; glycosidically-linked compounds; physical-chemical parameters; aroma potential

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