Terroir 2016 banner
IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 Using a grape compositional model to predict harvest time and influence wine style

Using a grape compositional model to predict harvest time and influence wine style


Linking wine composition to fruit composition is difficult due to the numerous biochemical pathways and substrate transformations that occur during fermentation. Grape composition regulates the production and final concentrations of most wine aroma compounds, as exemplified by methoxypyrazine and rotundone concentrations in wine being confidently predicted from the corresponding grape concentration. However, the final concentrations of many compounds in wines (aromatic and non-aromatic) are substantially dependent on the winemaking process.
The aim of this study was to better understand grape flavour evolution in relation to wine composition and subsequent wine style using sequential harvests (n=3). To achieve this goal, Shiraz was chosen as a model variety across two different climatic regions (warm-hot and cool-temperate) in New South Wales, Australia. The objective was not to compare the two regions but to assess the consistency of grape flavour evolution over the ripening period.

Irrespective of the region, a clear separation of samples was noted according to the harvest stage. Shiraz wines from the first harvest (H1) were associated with red fruit descriptors and higher acidity. Wines from the third harvest (H3) were correlated with dark fruit characters and a higher perception of alcohol. Higher concentrations of some higher alcohol acetates, dimethyl sulfide and lower concentrations of Z-3-hexenol, ethyl isobutyrate and ethyl leucate were measured in H3 wines.
Irrespective of the environment, this study demonstrated that in Shiraz, a common evolution of grape flavours exists, influencing the final wine sensory properties. Furthermore, during the late ripening stage, no direct nexus was observed between sugar concentration and grape and wine flavour evolution.


Publication date: June 24, 2020

Issue: Terroir 2016

Type: Article


Alain DELOIRE (1), Katja ŠUKLJE (1), Guillaume ANTALICK (1), John BLACKMAN (1,2), Leigh SCHMIDTKE (1,2)

(1) National Wine and Grape Industry Centre, Charles Sturt University, Locked Bag 588, Wagga Wagga, NSW 2678, Australia
(2) School of Agricultural and Wine Sciences, Charles Sturt University, Locked Bag 588, Wagga Wagga, NSW 2678, Australia

Contact the author


fruit and wine composition, wine sensory profile, sequential harvest, regionality, climate, volatiles, multivariate data analyses


IVES Conference Series | Terroir 2016


Related articles…

Effect of partial net shading on the temperature and radiation in the grapevine canopy, consequences on the grape quality of cv. Gros Manseng in PDO Pacherenc-du-vic-Bilh

As elsewhere, southwestern France vineyards face more recurrent summer heat waves these last years. Among the possibilities of adaptation to this climate changing parameter, the use of net shading is a technique that allow for limiting canopy exposure to radiations. In this trial, we tested net shading installed on one face of the canopy, on a north-south row-oriented plot of cv. Gros Manseng trained on VSP system in the PDO Pacherenc-du-Vic-Bilh. The purpose was to characterize the effects on the ambient canopy temperatures and radiations during the season and to observe the consequences on the composition of grapes and wines. Two sorts of net were used with two levels of obstruction (50% and 75%) of the photosynthesis active radiation (PAR). They have been installed on the west side of the canopy and compared to a netless control. Temperature and PAR sensors registered hourly data during the season. On specific summer day (hot and sunny) manual measurements took also place on bunches (temperature) and in different spots of the canopy (PAR). The results showed that, on clear days, the radiation is lowered by the shade nets respecting the supplier criteria. The effects on the ambient canopy temperature were inconstant on this plot when we observed the data from the global period of shading between fruit set and harvest. However, during hot days (>30°C), the temperature in the canopy was reduced during afternoon and the temperature of the bunch surface was reduced as well comparing to the control. A decrease of the maturity parameters of the berries, sugar and acidity, was also observed. Concerning the wine aromatic potential, no differences clearly appeared.

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.

Direct NMR evidence for the dissociation of sulfur-dioxide-bound acetaldehyde under acidic conditions: Impact on wines oxidative stability

SO2 reaction with electrophilic species present in wine, including in particular carbonyl compounds, is responsible for the reduction of its protective effect during wine aging. In the present study, direct 1H NMR profiling was used to monitor the reactivity of SO2 with acetaldehyde under wine-like oxidation conditions.

Zoning of viticulture in Yugoslavia

The last official zoning of Viticulture in Yugoslavia was performed 1978. year, when (according to recommendation of OIV and European Economic Community), regions, sub regions and vineyards districts were established supposing that the varieties which will be exhibit ail the positive agro biological and technological characteristics.

Using multifactorial analysis to evaluate the contribution of terroir components to the oenological potential of grapes at harvest

The oenological potential of grapes at harvest depends on a combination of the major components of Terroir: the climate, the soil, the plant material, the training system and the crop management.