Viticultural climate effect on the sensorial perception of wines. Methodological elements for a modelling at a world level

The objective of this study was to develop a methodology capable of modeling the effect of viticultural climate on wine sensory characteristics. The climate was defined by the Géoviticulture Multicriteria Climatic Classification System (Tonietto and Carbonneau, 2004), based on the Heliothermal index (HI), Cool Night index (CI) and Dryness index (DI). The sensory wine description was made according with the methodology established by Zanus and Tonietto (2007). In this study we focused on the 5 principal wine producing regions of Brazil: Serra Gaúcha, Serra do Sudeste, Campanha (Meridional and Central), Planalto Catarinense and Vale do Submédio São Francisco. The results from Principal Component Analysis (PCA) show the HI and CI opposed to the DI. High HI values were associated to a lower perception of acidity, as well as to a lower perception of concentration (palate) and persistence by mouth. For the red wines, high HI values were positively associated with alcohol (palate), conversely to the DI index, which showed high values related to the perception of tanins and acidity. The higher the CI, the lower were the color intensity, tanins, concentration and persistence by mouth. It may be concluded that viticultural climate – expressed by the HI, CI and DI indexes – adequately explained much of the sensory differences of the wines made in different regions. The methodology proposed and the enlargement of the database it will maybe open the possibility of modeling the part of wine sensory characteristics as dependent variables of the viticultural climate, as defined by the Géoviticulture MCC System.

Authors: Jorge TONIETTO (1), Mauro Celso ZANUS (1) and Celito CRIVELLARO GUERRA (1)

(1) Chercheur, Embrapa – Centre National de Recherche de la Vigne et du Vin, Rua Livramento, 515 ; 95700-000 – Bento Gonçalves, Brésil


Keywords: viticultural climate, modeling, wine, tipicity

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