IVAS 2022 banner
IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 IVAS 9 IVAS 2022 9 Text mining of wine reviews to investigate quality markers of ‘Nebbiolo’ wines from Valtellina

Text mining of wine reviews to investigate quality markers of ‘Nebbiolo’ wines from Valtellina


In Valtellina zone (north Italy), the winemaking of ‘Nebbiolo’ grapes leads to the production of two main wine types: classic red wines from fresh grapes, usually classified as Valtellina Superiore DOCG (mandatory oak aging) or Rosso di Valtellina DOC, and the Sforzato di Valtellina DOCG, which is produced using withered grapes according to traditional product specification and subjected to mandatory oak aging process. The withering process influences grape chemical composition and, in turn, the wine sensory profile, which is strongly linked to the wine quality and typicity perceived by consumers.In this study, text mining operations on reviews from renowned wine magazines and web sources (The Wine Advocate, Wine Spectator, James Suckling Wine Ratings, Wine Enthusiast) were used to explore the differences between wines produced using fresh (Valtellina Superiore-Rosso di Valtellina) and withered (Sforzato) ‘Nebbiolo’ grapes with the aim of characterising the sensory markers of these two peculiar products.Firstly, the similarities and differences of terms deriving from the reviews of Sforzato (132 reviews obtained) and the group Valtellina Superiore-Rosso di Valtellina (368 reviews obtained) were investigated through keyness analysis using the AntConc software, to identify the relevant keywords that can distinguish these wines. Then, the determination of sensory descriptors associated to the ratings of the reviews was performed using text mining strategies through IRaMuTeQ software. Sforzato and Valtellina Superiore-Rosso di Valtellina corpora, separately, were divided in low (≤86), medium-low (87-89), medium-high (90-92), and high (≥93) ratings and evaluated by clustering and correspondence analysis (CA), to find out the sensory attributes that can explain and are correlated to the quality and typicity of each category of Valtellina wines.The keyness analysis showed a very similar corpus between the two wine categories, given by the common variety and origin. Nevertheless, significantly different lemmas were found, with Sforzato described as more ‘rich’, with higher frequencies of ‘prune’ and ‘chocolate’ aromas, ‘robust’ and ‘full bodied’ on the palate, and with ‘velvet-like’ texture mouthfeel when compared to ‘Nebbiolo’ produced from fresh grapes. ‘Velvety’ descriptor was as well linked to high quality in Sforzato, because in CA it was correlated with the high-ratings group, as well as the ‘prune’ aroma descriptors. ‘Rich’ was specific for medium-high rating group, and ‘full’ and ‘chocolate’ for medium-low. Generally, in-mouth descriptors, such as mouthfeel and astringency, were able to discriminate the Sforzato wines according to the ranking group.This data analysis approach can be helpful in identifying key sensory descriptors for specific wine types and unravel markers of wine typicality. Furthermore, this knowledge will allow wine producers to modulate the winemaking strategies to obtain products noticeable by consumers.


Publication date: June 27, 2022

Issue: IVAS 2022

Type: Poster


Paissoni Maria Alessandra1, LEE Lei1, Río Segade Susana1, Giacosa Simone1, Gerbi Vincenzo1 and Rolle Luca1

1Department of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences (DISAFA), University of Torino

Contact the author


Text mining, Keyness analysis, Wine quality, Sensory descriptors, Wine reviews


IVAS 2022 | IVES Conference Series


Related articles…

Implication of secondary viral infections on grafting success rated in nurseries

Grapevine grafting is a complex process that since the establishment of phylloxera has become mandatory for grapevine. Grafting success in grapevine nurseries considerably varies among years and batches with most variety/rootstock combinations reach a high success rate (between 75% and 90%), but some combinations show lower success rates of around 40-50%. The causes of this variation are unknown, although biotic stresses like those caused by some viral infections have been demonstrated to affect the process. European certification schemes for the vegetative propagation of the vine include five major viruses (Arabis mosaic virus, Grapevine Fanleaf Virus, Grapevine Fleck Virus, and Grapevine-associated Leafroll Virus 1 and 3).

Impact of the pre-fermentative addition of enological adjuvants on the development of UTA in wines

During alcoholic fermentation and wine aging, indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) can degrade into 2-aminoacetophenone (AAP). The presence of reasonable amount of AAP in wines is regarded as the main cause of untypical ageing

Climate ethnography and wine environmental futures

Globalisation and climate change have radically transformed world wine production upsetting the established order of wine ecologies. Ecological risks and the future of traditional agricultural systems are widely debated in anthropology, but very little is understood of the particular challenges posed by climate change to viticulture which is seen by many as the canary in the coalmine of global agriculture. Moreover, wine as a globalised embedded commodity provides a particularly telling example for the study of climate change having already attracted early scientific attention. Studies of climate change in viticulture have focused primarily on the production of systematic models of adaptation and vulnerability, while the human and cultural factors, which are key to adaptation and sustainable futures, are largely missing. Climate experts have been unanimous in recognising the urgent need for a better understanding of the complex dynamics that shape how climate change is experienced and responded to by human systems. Yet this call has not yet been addressed. Climate ethnography, coined by the anthropologist Susan Crate (2011), aims to bridge this growing disjuncture between climate science and everyday life through the exploration of the social meaning of climate change. It seeks to investigate the confrontation of its social salience in different locations and under different environmental guises (Goodman 2018: 340). By understanding how wine producers make sense of the world (and the environment) and act in it, it proposes to focus on the co-production of interdisciplinary knowledge by identifying and foreshadowing problems (Goodman 2018: 342; Goodman & Marshall 2018). It seeks to offer an original, transformative and contrasted perspective to climate change scenarios by investigating human agency -individual or collective- in all its social, political and cultural diversity. An anthropological approach founded on detailed ethnographies of wine production is ideally placed to address economic, social and cultural disruptions caused by the emergence of these new environmental challenges. Indeed, the community of experts in environmental change have recently called for research that will encompass the human dimension and for more broad-based, integrated through interdisciplinarity, useful knowledge (Castree & al 2014). My paper seeks to engage with climate ethnography and discuss what it brings to the study of wine environmental futures while exploring the limitations of the anthropological environmental approach.

Impact of high temperatures on phenolic profile of Babić grapes

Babić is a Croatian native grapevine variety grown in the Coastal region, mainly in the Šibenik and Primošten areas, famous for high quality red wines. The region is known for its warm Mediterranean climate and karst relief. Vineyards are found on the hillsides of varying slopes and exposition usually giving low yields of exceptional quality.

Managing Grapevine Powdery Mildew with Ultraviolet-C Light in Washington State

Germicidal ultraviolet-C (UV-C) light has shown promising results for suppression of several plant-pathogenic microorganims, including Erysiphe necator, which attacks grapevine. In Washington State the majority of winegrape production is in a semi-arid steppe environment, with historically low powdery mildew disease pressure, making it a promising area to deploy UV-C as a disease management tool. Trials focusing on UVC application timing and frequency will assist in developing regionally-appropriate application recommendations for eastern Washington State.