The main challenge faced by viticulture is to improve the quality of the wines, adapting them to the new consumer demands that demand wines with lower alcohol content and greater freshness. In the last 30 years, a clear modification has been observed in the composition of the grape due to climate change, showing a higher sugar content due to an excess of maturity, giving rise to wines with a higher alcohol content, less organic acids, a higher pH high, and a lower anthocyanin content and, therefore, lower color (van Leeuwen and Destrac-Irvine, 2017).
There are different strategies to achieve wines with a lower alcohol content, one of them would be to obtain new varieties that can adapt to harsher growing conditions than the current ones and that are capable of producing quality grapes and wines. In 1997, a program of crossings directed from the Monastrell variety began at IMIDA. At present, a new line is being started in which the selection of hybrids that accumulate few sugars in the pulp and therefore suitable for the production of wines with a low alcohol content has been carried out.
In 2017, 6 red hybrids of “low alcohol content” were selected from crosses between Monastrell, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon, of which 20 strains of each were planted. This year for the first time they have entered production and have been able to be elaborated. The grapes were harvested on August 25 with a ºBrix between 21 and 23, and the CI of the wines obtained at the end of alcoholic fermentation is between 40 and 62 color points. The results, although still preliminary, may be very promising for the future of viticulture.
Authors: Gil-Muñoz, R.*, Moreno-Olivares, J.D., Gimenez-Bañón, M.J., Paladines-Quezada, D.F., Martinez-Gómez, J.C., Cebrián-Pérez, A., Fernández-Fernández, J.I. .
Instituto Murciano de Investigación y Desarrollo Agrario y Alimentario; C/ Mayor s/n La Alberca (Murcia) Spain