Terroir 2016 banner
IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 Elucidating contributions by vineyard site on volatile aroma characteristics of pinot noir wines

Elucidating contributions by vineyard site on volatile aroma characteristics of pinot noir wines


Correlations between vineyard site and wine have, historically, been limited due to lack of uniformity in scion and rootstock clone and lack of controlled pilot-scale winemaking conditions, particularly temperature. Our work aims to minimize these sources of variation by using a single combination of scion and rootstock. In addition, we maintain highly controlled fermentation conditions by using automated 200 L fermentation vessels at the UC Davis Teaching and Research Winery. Grape clusters were hand-harvested from 10 vineyards comprising the same combination of scion clone, Pinot noir clone 667, and rootstock clone, 101-14 Mgt. The vineyards were located from as far south as Santa Maria, CA, USA to as far north as Mendocino, CA, USA (a distance of more than 650 km). American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) represented in this work include Santa Maria Valley, Arroyo Seco, Carneros, Sonoma Coast, Russian River Valley, and Mendocino. Because of the location of this conference, data will also be shared characterizing two wines made from the Willamette Valley AVA from the same Pinot noir clone 667 but on a different rootstock clone. The fruit from each vineyard was destemmed into the fermentation vessels and inoculated with the same strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast. These vessels offer a high degree of automated temperature control, facilitating relatively uniform fermentations across vineyard replicates and across vineyards. After primary fermentation, wines were inoculated with the same strain of malolactic bacteria. Upon completion of MLF, wines samples were obtained for analytical characterization.

In this presentation, we will share data characterizing wine volatile compounds by using an automated headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC-MS) method combined with synchronous selected ion monitoring (SIM)/scan detection. The chemical data were analyzed using an analysis of variance (ANOVA) measuring for the effects of vineyard. 45 volatile compounds were identified that significantly differentiated the wines. The compounds included terpenes, esters, norisoprenoids, organic acids, aldehydes, and alcohols. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to characterize individual vineyards using only significant volatile compounds. AVAs were generally separated by their volatile compound profile, however, some vineyard locations within an AVA led to dramatically different volatile aroma profiles, suggesting that factors such as unique microclimates or soil conditions may have an effect. These details will be explored in future work as will the consistency of volatile compounds from these sites in subsequent vintages.


Publication date: June 24, 2020

Issue: Terroir 2016

Type: Article


Ron Runnebaum

Department of Viticulture & Enology and Department of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science, University of California-Davis, California, USA

Contact the author


Terroir, wine, Pinot Noir, aroma compounds


IVES Conference Series | Terroir 2016


Related articles…

Territoires et zones viticoles. Aspects climatiques, pédologiques, agronomiques. Caractérisation des terroirs viticoles: une étude systémique

On assiste actuellement à l’émergence d’une demande sociale forte à l’égard de fonctions par ailleurs traditionnelles de l’agriculture, qui concernent la gestion des ressources du milieu, le maintien d’un tissu social rural, la valorisation des territoires ruraux et l’entretien des paysages.

Variabilité spatiale du gel printanier dans le vignoble champenois : application au zonage climatique

In the Champagne vineyards, spring frosts are the cause of significant variations in the volume of the harvest which are very penalizing for the trade. This variability is reflected both in time (years without frost alternating with years with severe frosts) and in space. Certain sectors of the vineyard are in fact statistically more susceptible to frost than others, but each year no municipality can consider itself immune to this climatic accident. The objective of the study is precisely to analyze the spatial distribution of frost and to determine its main mechanisms, linked to the topography of the hillsides, their orientation but also to regional meteorological variables.

Phenolic extraction and mechanical properties of skins and seeds during maceration of four main italian red wine grape varieties

AIM: Red grape varieties are characterized by different phenolic contents (prominently tannins and anthocyanins) found in skins and seeds.

Comparing the chemical and sensory consequences of grapevine smoke exposure in grapes and wine from different cultivars and different wine regions in Australia

Aim: This study aimed to benchmark the chemical and sensory consequences of grapevine exposure to smoke, by comparing: (i) the concentration of volatile phenols and volatile phenol glycosides in control and smoke-affected grapes from different cultivars and different wine regions; and (ii) the chemical and sensory profiles of wines made from control and smoke-affected grapes, from different cultivars.  

Influence of agronomic practices in soil water content in mid-mountain vineyards

In the context of LIFE project MIDMACC (LIFE18 CCA/ES/001099), several pilots have been installed in vineyards in mid mountain areas of Catalonia (NE Spain) to test well stablished agronomic practices to increase the adaptation of Mediterranean mid mountain to climate change. Soil water content (SWC) at three different depths (15, 30 and 45cm) was measured in continuum from August 2020. One pilot (WC) included a well-established green cover (GC), a new GC (NC) and a conventional soil management (CM, tilling+herbicides). NC presented an intermediate state between WC and CM, responding similarly to CM in autumn but quickly reaching similar SWC to WC, then following the same evolution till next spring, with CM presenting lower values along autumn and winter. Then vegetation activation decreased SWC in all plots, (much slower in CM, lacking GC). Sensibility to spring rains is again intermediate for NC, which joins SWC evolution of CM by the end of spring till next autumn. It is expected that NC will resemble WC more and more as its GC develops. In the pilot combining vine training (VSP vs Gobelet) and hillside management (slope vs terrace), no clear pattern could be related with these conditions. However, both terraces seem to be more sensitive to spring rains. A third pilot included new vineyards (7 and 1 year old). In the new vineyard (N), higher canopy development, a spontaneous green cover and row straw resulted in a slower SWC dynamic, not so sensitive to rains but conserving more soil water in spring and most of summer, even with presumably a higher water extraction by vines. In the newest vineyard (VN) the deepest sensor is still sensitive to rain events all over the year and SWC is always highest at this depth, revealing small water capture by vines.