Big Advancement in Wine Market: New Research Suggests Strategies to Enhance Grapes Quality for Winemaking

  • Analysis
  • 15-July-2021

Wines grapes are rather hard to manage as they are particularly delicate and finicky to their environments. For example, the presence of droughts and heat waves can lead to beery ripening earlier than it is supposed to, resulting in the making of a lackluster wine. Wine Experts believe that such episodes would only intensify as the world climate worsens due to global warming and various other reasons. To sustain the art of winemaking, the researchers have managed to determine practices that might help keep the fruit ripe and floral. They tinkered with the growing conditions for Cabernet Sauvignon grapes to see if they could slow down their ripening. The study is a huge contribution to the advancement of the Wine Market as it proves that the team was able to increase the levels of compounds closely associated with wine’s characteristic floral and fruity tones.
Once grapes start to ripen, they change their colors from light green to a deep red; simultaneously, aroma and sugar compounds accumulate within the berries. However, if they ripen rather quickly as a result of water and heat stresses, then the fruit produce received at the end is less desirable as it has more alcohol, dull color, and a lingering taste of cooked fruit which is not pleasant for the taste buds. Thus, the present research’s main aim was to counteract these negative effects that have started to impact wine quality due to climate change, and for this reason, scientists tried to explore a different way to grow plants.
Previous studies on the subject reflected that reducing the crop on the vines can help speed up the grape ripening process, whereas an intense irrigation process in the late growing season can cause a delay in the process. The research team in the present study set itself to examine the impacts of all such techniques on the chemical components, critical to berries’ quality.

The tea grew wine grapes at a vineyard in California wherein they took up the following strategies –

  1. Eliminated a portion of the clusters on the vines, or

  2. Irrigated the plants more during the later rising seasons, or

  3. Did both; or

  4. Did neither

During the experiment, they collected the grapes throughout the ripening period. They discovered that plants that have the fewest berry clusters had the quickest augment in sugar content and were ripe at the earliest in comparison to all conditions tested. In contrast, the plants that were both watered and thinned had the slowest rate of sugar accumulation.
Further, the research demonstrated that slowing down the cycle of grape ripening resulted in a decrease of six-carbon aldehydes, 2-isobutyl-3-methoxypyrazine, and alcohols. It was also associated with increased norisoprenoids and terpenes, green and vegetal wine notes, and pleasant floral and fruity wine notes. The team noted that longer growing time enhanced the quality of grapes used for winemaking.
Even though the study is sure to bring a positive impact on the wine manufacturing sector as it addresses the critical problems being faced by winemakers, however, it would still be more desirable for there to better monitoring of these strategies over several years before they are changed in place to the existing ones.
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