Terroir 2020 banner
IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 Wine metabolomics and sensory profile in relation to terroir: A case study focusing on different wine-growing areas of Piacenza Province (Italy)

Wine metabolomics and sensory profile in relation to terroir: A case study focusing on different wine-growing areas of Piacenza Province (Italy)


Aim: In this work, we have optimized a robust methodology for investigating possible correlations between the phytochemical profile of wine and the terroir (including the climate), considering the specific wine-growing area. In particular, the untargeted metabolomic and sensorial profiles of Gutturnio DOC commercial wines (both still and “frizzante” types) from different production areas in the Piacenza province were determined. The geographical areas taken into consideration for this study consisted in Val Tidone, Val Nure and Val d’Arda.

Methods and Results: A metabolomic approach based on ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography coupled to quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry (UHPLC-ESI-QTOF) was used to investigate the untargeted phenolic profiles of “Gutturnio” DOC wines from different growing areas, namely Val Tidone, Val Nure, and Val d’Arda, located in Piacenza province (Emilia Romagna region, Italy, 45 °Lat N). In this regard, eight “Gutturnio” wines (both still and “frizzante”) from the same vintage (2016) were compared in order to highlight the impact of terroir on their chemical composition and sensory profile. Besides, correlations between wine chemical composition and climatic data of each of the three valleys have been investigated. The highest content of phenolic acids was recorded in still Gutturnio wines from Val Tidone and Val d’Arda (i.e., 389.9 and 388.2 mg/L, respectively). Both unsupervised and supervised multivariate statistical analyses (hierarchical clustering, principal component analysis, and partial least squares discriminant analysis) of metabolomics-based data allowed the different samples to be clearly discriminated according to the corresponding growing-areas. Interestingly, the most discriminant compounds allowing sample grouping belonged to phenolic acids (such as isomeric forms of diferuloylquinic acid) and alkylphenols (such as 5-heptadecylresorcinol). Besides, the Venn diagram analysis revealed seven common markers belonging to both conditions under investigation (i.e., terroir and winemaking practices). Besides, strong correlations were outlined between flavonoids, lignans, and phenolic acids with climatic data. Finally, sensory analysis allowed clear discrimination between still vs” frizzante” Gutturnio wines. 


The untargeted phenolic profiling was able to discriminate Gutturnio wine samples according to both terroir and vinification methods. Also, strong correlation coefficients were outlined when considering polyphenol profiles and climatic data, although further ad-hoc studies are needed to confirm this occurrence.

Significance and Impact of the Study: Preliminary and potential correlations have been identified between the phytochemical profile and sensorial quality of Gutturnio wines as related to both growing areas and vinification type.


Publication date: March 17, 2021

Issue: Terroir 2020

Type: Video


Gabriele Rocchetti1, Luigi Lucini1, Emilia Calza2, Luigi Odello3, Luigi Bavaresco2

1Department for Sustainable Food Process, UCSC, Piacenza, Italy
2Department of Sustainable Crop Production, UCSC, Piacenza, Italy
3Centro Studi Assaggiatori, Brescia, Italy

Contact the author


Wine metabolomics, foodomics, terroir, polyphenols, sensory quality


IVES Conference Series | Terroir 2020


Related articles…

Soil survey and chemical parameters evaluation in viticultural zoning

The most recent methodological developments in soil survey and land evaluation, that can be taken as reference in the viticultural field, go over usage of the GIS and database. These informatic tools, which begin to be widely utilised, consent to realise evaluations at different geographic scale and with different data quality and quantity in entrance.

Chemometric profiling of Pinot noir wine from south tyrol as a tool to reach wine style goals

AIM: Pinot Noir (PN) wines produced in South Tyrol were profiled with the aim to provide guidelines for the oenologist to reach specific winemaking goals in terms of typicity and quality.

Do high temperature extremes impact berry tannin composition?

Flavonoids, including flavonols, anthocyanins, and tannins, are
important contributors to grape and wine quality, and their biosynthesis is strongly influenced by bunch microclimate. While the synergistic effect of light and temperature has been intensively examined on flavonoids in relation to bunch exposure, studies targeting the sole effect of high temperature have mostly
focused on anthocyanins during the ripening period. With tannin biosynthesis starting around flowering, heatwaves occurring earlier in the grape growing season could be critical. Only a few papers report the impact of temperature on tannin synthesis and accumulation; to date, none have examined the effect of high temperature extremes which, in the context of climate change, relates to increases in heatwave intensity.

The weak role of organic mulches in shaping bacterial communities in grapevine

The interest in sustainable and ecologic agricultural practices in grapevine has grown significantly in recent years in the context of ecological transition. Organic mulches are treatments that support the circular economy and positively affect the soil and the plant. They are an alternative to herbicides and other conventional practices since they may influence soil moisture, erosion, structure and weed control. However, their effects on the soil and must microbiota remain unknown.

Red wines from southwest France, Lebanon and South Korea: study of phenolic composition and antioxidant and biological activities according to grape varieties and winemaking processes

The phenolic compounds present in the wine are responsible for reducing the risk of developing chronic diseases (cardiovascular, cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer …) because of their antioxidant activities and the presence of nutraceutical molecules with targeted biological activities. Polyphenols not only contribute to the “French paradox” but also contribute to give the wine its color, structure, aroma and allow a long-term preservation.