IVAS 2022 banner
IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 IVAS 9 IVAS 2022 9 Influence of dehydration and maceration conditions on VOCs composition and olfactory profile of Moscato Bianco passito sweet wine

Influence of dehydration and maceration conditions on VOCs composition and olfactory profile of Moscato Bianco passito sweet wine


Among the Vitis vinifera L. cv. Moscato, Moscato Bianco is the oldest and most cultivated one in Europe (1). According to the OIV Focus 2015, Italy is the country with the largest cultivated area of Moscato Bianco with about 12500 hectares (2), that is used to produce well-known wines (i.e., Moscato Passito in Piedmont, Moscato di Trani in Puglia, and Moscatello di Montalcino in Tuscany), mainly obtained from partially dehydrated grapes (1). Different dehydration techniques can strongly modify the chemical compounds of oenological interest, among which Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) (1) that are the main responsible for the varietal sensory character of the final wine.

The aims of the present research were to evaluate the effects of two different dehydration techniques (on vine; post-harvest) on the VOCs composition and odour profile of the corresponding Moscato sweet passito wines. Further, the introduction of a pre-fermentative cryomaceration step was also evaluated.
Moscato Bianco grapes, grown in Puglia (Italy), were used to obtain four wine samples: passito wines from grapes dehydrated on vine (oVD) and in post-harvest on plastic racks (pHD), vinified with skin maceration during the alcoholic fermentation (AF); the same two grapes were vinified with a pre-fermentative cryomaceration phase at 0°C for 4 days (oVD_pM and pHD_pM, respectively). VOCs and sensory profiles of the four wine samples were analysed by LL/GC-MS and descriptive sensory assessment (9 experienced and trained judges, 5 point numerical category scale). 

Results show that the different dehydration and maceration conditions significantly (ANOVA, p<0.05) influenced the volatile composition of the wines, allowing to obtain wines with different olfactory properties. Indeed, higher levels of some important terpenes (i.e., geranic acid, β-linalool, nerol, α-terpineol) as well as more intense floral odours were detected in oVD compared to pHD, showing intense honey and dehydrated fruits notes. This suggest that the on-vine dehydration is more preservative of varietal aromas, preventing the “sensory homologation” towards dehydrated notes. The introduction of the pre-fermentative cryomaceration step mostly affected VOCs related to the AF, namely esters, acids, and alcohols, but the floral character of oVD_pM was preserved. 

VOCs-odour and odour-odour correlations were tested by Person correlation (p<0.05): woody and honey descriptors were correlated (r=1.000) to each other, and to the same VOCs (ethyl vanillate, butyrolactone, furfural, 1-butanol, among others); the fruity character was positively correlated to esters, terpenes, and alcohols; dehydrated apricot and dried fig descriptors resulted strongly correlated (r>0.8) to acetoin.


1. Mencarelli & Tonutti (2013), Sweet, Reinforced and Fortified Wines: Grape Biochemistry, Technology and Vinification.
2. OIV (2015). Grapevine varieties’ area by country.


Publication date: June 27, 2022

Issue: IVAS 2022

Type: Poster


Pittari Elisabetta1, Napoletano Michele1, Moio Luigi1, Tarricone Luigi2 and Piombino Paola1

1Department of Agricultural Sciences (DiA), University of Naples Federico II, Italy
2CREA-VE, Council for Agricultural Research and Economics – Research Centre for Viticulture and Enology, Turi (BA), Italy

Contact the author


Moscato Bianco, grapes dehydration, pre-fermentative cryomaceration, sweet wines, volatiles


IVAS 2022 | IVES Conference Series


Related articles…

Physiological and growth reaction of Shiraz/101-14 Mgt to row orientation and soil water status

Advanced knowledge on grapevine row orientation is required to improve establishment, management and outcomes of vineyards on terroirs with different environmental conditions (climate, soil, topography) and in view of a future change to more extreme climatic conditions. The purpose of this study was to determine the combined effect of row orientation, plant water status and ripeness level on the physiological and viticultural reaction of Shiraz/101-14 Mgt.

Effects of mechanical leafing and deficit irrigation on Cabernet Sauvignon grown in warm climate of California

San Joaquin Valley accounts for 40% of wine grape acreage and produces 70% of wine grape in California. Fruit quality is one of most important factors which impact the economical sustainability of farming wine grapes in this region. Due to the recent drought and expected labor cost increase, the wine industry is thrilled to understand how to improve fruit quality while maintaining the yield with less water and labor input. The present study aims to study the interactive effects of mechanical leafing and deficit irrigation on yield and berry compositions of Cabernet Sauvignon grown in warm climate of California.

The effects of cane girdling on berry texture properties and the concentration of some aroma compounds in three table grape cultivars

The marketability of the table grapes is highly influenced by the consumer demand; therefore the market value of the table grapes is mainly characterized by its berry size, colour, taste and texture. Girdling could cause accumulation of several components in plants above the ringing of the phloem including clusters and resulting improved maturity. The aim of the experiments was to examine the effect of girdling on berry texture characteristics and aroma concentration.

Application of a fluorescence-based method to evaluate the ripening process and quality of Pinot Blanc grape

The chemical composition of grape berries at harvest is one of the most important factors that should be considered to produce high quality wines. Among the different chemical classes which characterize the grape juice, the polyphenolic compound, such as flavonoids, contribute to the final taste and color of wines. Recently, an innovative non-destructive method, based on chlorophyll fluorescence, was developed to estimate the phenolic maturity of red grape varieties through the evaluation of anthocyanins accumulated in the berry skin. To date, only few data are available about the application of this method on white grape varieties.

Different yield regulation strategies in semi-minimal-pruned hedge (SMPH) and impact on bunch architecture

Yields in the novel viticulture training system Semi-Minimal-Pruned Hedge (SMPH) are generally higher compared to the traditional Vertical Shoot Positioning (VSP). Excessive yields have a negative impact on the vine and wine quality, which can result in substantial losses in yield in subsequent vintages (alternate bearing) or penalties in fruit quality. Therefore yield regulation is essential. The bunch architecture in SMPH differs from VSP. Generally there is a higher amount but smaller bunches with lower single berry weights in SMPH compared to VSP.