terclim by ICS banner
IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 GiESCO 9 An overview of the impact of clone, environmental factors and viticultural techniques on rotundone concentration in red wines

An overview of the impact of clone, environmental factors and viticultural techniques on rotundone concentration in red wines


Context and purpose of the study – Rotundone is the main aroma compound responsible for peppery notes in red wine. This positive and very potent molecule has an odor threshold of 8 ng/L in water and 16 ng/L in red wine. It has been detected in several grape varieties with some of the highest concentrations recorded in Syrah, Duras, Tardif and Noiret, an interspecific hybrid grown in the North-East of the USA. If several winemaking practices have been identified to lower rotundone in wine, up to date, no enological solution has proved its efficiency to maximize it. This means that efforts to produce high rotundone wines must be undertaken in vineyards. This work provides practical ways that can be used by winegrowers to modulate rotundone levels in their wines.

Material and methods – Several field trials have been conducted for more than ten years in the southwest of France on Duras to investigate the impact of environmental factors and viticultural practices on rotundone concentration. This grape variety only grown within the protected designation of origin Gaillac was selected as it is known to exhibit substantial and regular levels of rotundone. These experiments were carried out using, in most cases, randomised complete block design with three replications per treatment. This research includes the study of the effect of clone, disease, ripeness, irrigation, defoliation, grape thinning, and the key factors driving the variability in rotundone concentrations between sites. Rotundone was quantified indirectly in wines fermented under microvinification conditions (1 L Erlenmeyer flask).

Results – Our results highlighted that certified clones had an impact on rotundone concentration in wine. The production of rotundone by the plant could be a response to biotic stress as a significant and positive correlation was established between rotundone concentrations and the severity of powdery mildew (Erysiphe necator) on bunches. On the opposite, Botrytis cinerea had a negative impact on rotundone in wine as a likely consequence of the activity of its polyphenol oxidase. Rotundone accumulation was also affected by abiotic factors, rising in concentration with an increase in water supply and radiation, while temperature elevation had a depreciative impact. The molecule was not impacted by grape thinning, suggesting the absence of translocation and a likely in situbiosynthesis. Harvesting date, irrigation, defoliation were identified as leverages to manipulate rotundone levels in wines.


Publication date: July 5, 2023

Issue: GiESCO 2023

Type: Poster



PPGV, Ecole d’Ingénieurs de PURPAN, 75 voie du TOEC, F-31076 Toulouse, France

Contact the author*


rotundone, Vitis vinifera L. Duras, biotic factors, abiotic factors, viticultural practices


GiESCO | GIESCO 2023 | 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.