OENO IVAS 2019 banner
IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 OENO IVAS 9 OENO IVAS 2019 9 Analysis and composition of grapes, wines, wine spirits 9 Trials with machine harvested sauvignon blanc: the importance of grape transport time and temperature

Trials with machine harvested sauvignon blanc: the importance of grape transport time and temperature


It is well known that free varietal thiols, in particular 3-mercaptohexanol (3MH) and 3-mercaptohexyl ace-tate (3MHA), are important constituents to the aroma of New Zealand Sauvignon blanc wines. This along with the popular practice of machine harvesting in New Zealand were the motivation for the following two pilot studies.
Firstly, it was examined if the presence of 3MH and 3MHA could be influenced by a change in transporta-tion time of machine harvested grapes. This came about as it was noticed that some Marlborough wineries process grapes incoming from multiple growing regions. Here, the thiol precursor contents, Glut-3MH and Cys-3MH, of 21 lab scale wines were examined after experiencing different simulated transportation times (0, 1.5, 3 and 4.5 h).

Results suggested that significant (p < 0.05) increases in the amount of Cys-3MH and Glut-3MH for some of the treatments associated to longer transportation times was possible. However, after fermentation while some of the experimental wines did not display any significant difference between the transportation times trialled, others displayed an opposite (downward) trend for the presence of 3MH and 3MHA across the increasing time points.

Secondly, as machine harvesting can occur throughout the day and night, of which atmospheric changes in temperature are anticipated, it was hypothesised that the skin contact taking place due to the nature of the machine harvesting can occur at different temperatures. For this study a holding period of 2h was chosen to represent the transport time of harvested grapes to a processing winery while the grape holding tempera-tures investigated were 6, 15 and 24 °C. Cys-3MH and Glut-3MH were quantified both before and after the different temperature treatments of the machine harvested grapes. ANOVA and Tukey HSD did not reveal any significant (p > 0.05) differences in thiol precursor levels before the 2h holding period. However, after this time a significant difference (p < 0.05) between the 6 and 15°C for both Cys-3MH and Glut-3MH was established. Following fermentation, the levels of 3MH and 3MHA were also quantified and revealed similar levels of these thiols between all of the experimental wines with no significant differences (p > 0.05) detec-ted between the holding temperatures investigated.


Publication date: June 10, 2020

Issue: OENO IVAS 2019

Type: Article


Katie Parish-Virtue 1, Mandy Herbst-Johnstone 1, Flo Bouda 2, Rebecca Deed 1, and Bruno Fedrizzi 1, Claire Grose 3, Mandy Herbst-Johnstone 1, Damian Martin 3

1) Wine Science Programme, School of Chemical Sciences, The University of Auckland, Private Bag 92019, Auckland, New Zealand
2) Delegat Limited, 172 Hepburn Rd, Henderson, Auckland, New Zealand
3) Viticulture and Oenology Group, The New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research Ltd, Blenheim, New Zealand


Transport time, Temperature, Machine harvesting, Thiols, Sauvignon blanc 


IVES Conference Series | OENO IVAS 2019


Related articles…

Swiss terroirs studies

A multidisciplinary approach aiming at studying the grape-growing areas also referred as “Terroir” was initiated a few years ago in Switzerland.

Differential responses of red and white grape cultivars trained to a single trellis system – the VSP

Commercial grape production relies on training grapevine cultivars onto a variety of trellis systems. Training allows for well-lit leaves and clusters, maximizing fruit quality in addition to facilitating cultivation, harvesting, and diseases control. Although grapevines can be trained onto an infinite variety of trellis systems, most red and white cultivars are trained to the standard VSP (Vertical Shoot Positioning) system. However, red and white cultivars respond differently to VSP in fruit composition and growth characteristics, which are yet to be fully understood. Therefore, the objective of this study was to examine the influence of the VSP trellis system on fruit composition of three red, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah, and three white, Chardonnay, Riesling, and Gewurztraminer cultivars grown under uniform growing conditions in the same vineyard. All cultivars were monitored for maturity and harvested at their physiologically maximum possible sugar concentration to compare various fruit quality attributes such as Brix, pH, TA, malic and tartaric acids, glucose and fructose, potassium, YAN, and phenolic compounds including total anthocyanins, anthocyanin profile, and tannins. A distinct pattern in fruit composition was observed in each cultivar. In regards to growth characteristics, Syrah grew vigorously with the highest cluster weight. Although all cultivars developed pyriform seeds, the seed size and weight varied among all cultivars. Also varied were mesocarp cell viability, brush morphology, and cane structure. This knowledge of the canopy architectural characteristics assessed by the widely employed fruit compositional attributes and growth characteristics will aid the growers in better management of the vines in varied situations.

Characterization of variety-specific changes in bulk stomatal conductance in response to changes in atmospheric demand and drought stress

In wine growing regions around the world, climate change has the potential to affect vine transpiration and overall vineyard water use due to related changes in atmospheric demand and soil water deficits. Grapevines control their transpiration in response to a changing environment by regulating conductance of water through the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum. Most vineyard water use models currently estimate vine transpiration by applying generic crop coefficients to estimates of reference evapotranspiration, but this does not account for changes in vine conductance associated with water stress, nor differences thought to exist between varieties. The response of bulk stomatal conductance to daily weather variability and seasonal drought stress was studied on Cabernet-Sauvignon, Merlot, Tempranillo, Ugni blanc, and Semillon vines in a non-irrigated vineyard in Bordeaux France. Whole vine sap flow, temperature and humidity in the vine canopy, and net radiation absorbed by the vine canopy were measured on 15-minute intervals from early July through mid-September 2020, together with periodic measurement of leaf area, canopy porosity, and predawn leaf water potential. From this data, bulk stomatal conductance was calculated on 15-minute intervals, and multiple regression analysis was performed to identify key variables and their relative effect on conductance. Attention was focused on addressing multicollinearity and time-dependency in the explanatory variables and developing regression models that were readily interpretable. Variability of vapor pressure deficit over the day, and predawn water potential over the season explained much of the variability in conductance, with relative differences in response coefficients observed across the five varieties. By characterizing this conductance response, the dynamics of vine transpiration can be better parameterized in vineyard water use modeling of current and future climate scenarios.

Partial dealcoholisation of red wine by reverse osmosis-evaporative perstraction: impact on wine composition

Around the world, the alcohol content of wine has been steadily increasing; partly as a consequence of climate change, but also due to improvements in viticultural management practices and winemaking techniques [1,2]. Concurrently, market demand for wines with lower alcohol levels has increased as consumers seek to reduce alcohol intake for social and/or health reasons [3]. As such, there is increasing demand for both innovative methods that allow winemakers to produce ‘reduced alcohol wines’ (RAW) and a better understanding of the impact of such methods on the composition of RAW. This study therefore aimed to investigate compositional changes in two red wines resulting from partial alcohol removal following treatment by one such method, involving a combination of reverse osmosis and evaporative perstraction (RO-EP).

Recent observations in wine oxidation

The chemistry of wine oxidation is captured in the reactions between the oxidation products, mostly reactive electrophiles, with other wine constituents. An understanding of both components and their reactions can lead to ideas and techniques to control and mitigate or enhance these reactions to allow for the desired development of the wine. Current investigations are yielding much useful information about oxidation reactions in wine.