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…

Revisión de estudios sobre suelos vitícolas de las tierras del Jerez

Dada la importancia de los suelos y de los substratos geológicos en la zonificación vitivinícola, los autores realizan una revisión de estudios sobre las formaciones más importantes en la D.O. Jerez-Xérès-Sherry y Manzanilla-Sanlúcar de Barrameda.

Determination of titratable acidity, sugar and organic acid content in red and white wine grape cultivars during ripening by VIS–NIR hy¬perspectral imaging

Grape harvest time is one of the most fundamental aspects that affect grape quality and thus wine quality. Many factors influence the decision of harvest; among them technological and phenolic maturity of grape. Technological ripeness is mainly related to sugar concentration, titratable acidity and pH. Conventional methods for chemical analysis of grapes are normally sample-destructive, time-consuming, include laborious sample preparation steps, and generate chemical waste, thereby limiting their utility in online/in-line quality monitoring. Moreover, destructive analyses can be performed only on a limited number of fruit pieces and, thus, their statistical relevance could be limited. This study evaluated the ability of a lab-scale hyperspectral imaging (HYP-IM) technique to predict titratable acidity, organic acid and sugar content of grapes. Samples of Cabernet franc and Chenin blanc grapes were consecutively collected six times at weekly intervals after veraison. The images were recorded thanks to the hyperspectral imaging camera Pica L (Resonon) in a spectral range from 400 to 1000 nm. Statistics were performed using Microsoft Xlstat software. Successively, the berries were analyzed for their sugar (glucose and fructose) and organic acid (malic and tartaric acid) content and titratable acidity according to usual methods.

The wine: a never-ending source of H2S and methanethiol

Volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs), mainly hydrogen sulfide and methanethiol (H2S and MeSH), are the responsible for reductive off-odor in wine.

Remote sensing and ground techniques, applied to the characterization of a new viticultural region at Pinto Bandeira, Brazil

The region of viticultural production near Pinto Bandeira, Brazil, is being studied to define typical characteristics of wines locally produced.


Flow cytometry (FCM) is a powerful technique allowing the detection, characterization and quantification of microbial populations in different fields of application (medical environment, food industry, enology, etc.). Depending on the fluorescent markers and specific probes used, FCM provides information on the physiological state of the cell and allows the quantification of a microorganism of interest within a mixed population. For 15 years, the enological sector has shown growing interest in this technique, which is now used to determine the populations present (of interest or spoilage) and the physiological state of microorganisms at the different stages of winemaking.