SIP and save the planet: a sensory and consumer exploration of australian wines made from potentially drought-tolerant white wine grapes
In order to attenuate the effects of climate change on the ability to cultivate quality wine grape vines in Australia, it is essential to adapt to the projected less favourable Australian climate scenarios. One response may be to convert a portion of the current grapevine plantings to those varieties that demand less water and can tolerate increased heat. This investigation aimed to (i) generate sensory profiles and (ii) obtain knowledge about Australian wine consumers’ preferences and opinions of Australian wines made from potentially drought tolerant, white wine grape varieties not traditionally cultivated in Australia. A Rate-All-That-Apply (RATA) sensory panel (n = 49) generated sensory profiles of 44 commercial white wines made from 7 different white grape varieties (Arinto, Fiano, Garganega, Greco, Verdejo, Verdelho and Vermentino), plus two benchmark examples each of an Australian Riesling, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay wine. All wines underwent basic chemical analyses and a subset of 10 wines was subjected to preference trials with Australian white wine consumers (n = 102) who consumed white wine at least monthly. Consumers liked 9 of the 10 wines, scoring them greater than 5 on a 9-point hedonic scale. Verdejo and Garganega, the second and third most liked wines, could potentially be offered as an alternative to Pinot Gris, due to their similar sensory attributes. Arinto and Greco could become alternative wines to Chardonnay; and Fiano to Riesling. These findings provide more accurate information about the potential performance of these new wines in the Australian market and suggest wine producers could provide alternative wine styles which meet the taste specifications of this competitive market, yet promote a more sustainable grape and wine industry as it faces the impact of climate change. The adoption of drought tolerant varieties will potentially reduce the amount of water needed for irrigation, increase yield and income. Moreover, sustainable Australian wine products may introduce a point of difference in the current global market.
Issue: OENO Macrowine 2023
1 Department of Wine Science, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, Waite Research Institute, The University of Adelaide, PMB 1, Glen Osmond, South Australia 5064, Australia
2 The University of Adelaide Business School, South Australia 5005, Australia
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Rate-All-That-Apply, drought tolerant, sensory proﬁles, consumer acceptance