Terroir 2020 banner
IVES 9 IVES Conference Series 9 Characterization of the thiol aromatic potential of a new resistant grape variety: Floreal

Characterization of the thiol aromatic potential of a new resistant grape variety: Floreal


Aims: Due to climate change and the desire to decrease enological inputs (organic farming), the vineyard has to be modified and the selection of new resistant grape varieties as an alternative is researched intensively today. From January 2018, four new grape varieties that are resistant against mildew and odium have been added to the official catalogue and are now available for planting new vineyards in France: Floreal, Artaban, Vidoc and Voltis. Floreal wines have been described as “very aromatic and very intense with specific notes of grapefruit” during tasting. Unfortunately, there is no data, either qualitative or quantitative, in literature to describe the aromatic quality of this resistant grape variety.

Today we know that the olfactory descriptor of grapefruit is mainly characteristic of 3-mercaptohexan-1-ol (3MH). To reach a deeper understanding of the aromatic potential of Floreal grapes, a combined study of the effects of both viticultural (nitrogen foliar spraying) and enological (cold lees settling) parameters has been carried out.

Methods and Results: After pressing Floreal grapes, corresponding must (with or without cold settling) was inoculated with a high b-lyase activity dry yeast strain at 20 g/hL. Temperature of fermentation was maintained close to 16 °C and we monitored the kinetic of alcoholic fermentation by measuring the rate of CO2 release. Following this, several parameters were quantified: cysteinylated and glutathionylated thiol precursors (during grape maturation and in the must), and 3MH (in the final wine) by SIDA-UPLC-MS/MS. An innovative analysis of both reduced and oxidized forms of 3MH and 3MHA has been also performed in order to indicate possible “wine oxidizability” of such a resistant variety. 


First of all, Floreal wines have concentrations in 3MH and 3MHA close to 1300 ng/L (sum of both compounds) which is relatively low in comparison with Colombard or Sauvignon blanc from Gers or Loire Valley, respectively. Thus, Floreal wine aromaticity cannot be only explained by 3MH and 3MHA, and other powerful thiols may be implicated such as 4MMP, opening an avenue for identification of new aroma compounds. 

A surprising and interesting result was the fact that cold lees settling did not significantly improve the level of both 3MH and 3MHA in Floreal wines, whereas this technological practice is commonly used for its positive effect in non-resistant varieties such as Sauvignon blanc. 

Significance and Impact of the Study: Therefore, accurate characterization of this new grape variety and those that will be developed in the coming years represents a great challenge: adapting viticultural and enological practices to produce high quality wines in the future. 


Publication date: March 25, 2021

Issue: Terroir 2020

Type : Video


Gabriel Dournes1, Erick Casalta1, Alain Samson2, Evelyne Aguera2, Jean-Roch Mouret1, Aurélie Roland1*

1UMR SPO, INRAE, Univ Montpellier, Montpellier SupAgro, 2 place Pierre Viala, 34060 Montpellier Cedex 2, France
2 UE Pech Rouge, INRAE, 11430 Gruissan, France

Contact the author


Thiol precursors, 3-mercaptohexan-1-ol, nitrogen foliar spraying, cold settling 


IVES Conference Series | Terroir 2020


Related articles…

Use of Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR) to rapidly verify the botanical authenticity of gum arabic

Gum arabic is composed of a polysaccharide rich in galactose and arabinose along with a small protein fraction [1, 2], which gives its stabilizing power with respect to the coloring substances or tartaric precipitation of bottled wine. It is a gummy exudation from Acacia trees; the products used in enology have two possible botanical origins, i.e. Acacia seyal and Acacia senegal, with different chemical-physical features and consequently different technological effects on wines. The aim of this work is to evaluate the feasibility of discrimination of commercial gums Arabic between their two different sources, on the basis of the absorption of the Fourier Transform Infrared (FT-IR) spectra of their aqueous solutions, in order to propose an extremely rapid and cost-saving method for quality control laboratories.

Investigating the Ancient Egyptian wines: The wine jars database

In Ancient Egypt, wine was a luxury product consumed mainly by the upper classes and the royal family and offered to gods in daily religious rituals in the temples.
Since the Predynastic (4000-3100 BC) period, wine jars were placed in tombs as funerary offerings. From the Old Kingdom (2680-2160 BC) to the Greco-Roman (332 BC-395 AD) period, viticulture and winemaking scenes were depicted on the private tombs’ walls. During the New Kingdom (1539-1075 BC), wine jars were inscribed to indicate: vintage year, product, quality, provenance, property and winemaker’s name and title.

Distinguishing of red wines from Northwest China by colour-flavour related physico-chemical indexes

Aim: Northwest China occupies an important position in China’s wine regions due to its superior geographical conditions with dry climate and sufficient sunlight. In this work, we aimed to investigate the physico-chemical colour and flavour characteristics of red wine in Northwest China.

Understanding the impact of rising temperatures due to climate change on aromatic compositions in Malbec wines from Mendoza, Argentina

Mendoza is one of Argentina’s most important and outstanding wine regions producing the renowned Malbec wines due to its optimal soil and weather conditions. However, the effects of 21st-century climate change would negatively impact Malbec wines quality. This study investigated the effect of temperature increase and the impact of plant hormone abscisic acid (ABA) used to mitigate the negative effect of temperature increase on Malbec wines aromatic composition through GC-MS. Four treatments were applied on vines at field condition: Control, Control + 3 ºC, ABA and ABA + 3 ºC.

Digitising the vineyard: developing new technologies for viticulture in Australia 

New and developing technologies, that provide sensors and the software systems for using and interpreting them, are becoming pervasive through our lives and society. From smart phones to cars to farm machinery, all contain a range of sensors that are monitored automatically with intelligent software, providing us with the information we need, when we need it. This technological revolution has the potential to monitor all aspects of vineyard activity, assisting growers to make the management choices they need to achieve the outcomes they want. For example, a future vineyard may possess automated imaging that generates a three dimensional model of the vine canopy, highlighting differences from the desired structure and how to use canopy management to improve fruit composition, or generates maps with yield estimates and measurements of berry composition throughout the growing season.