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Determining levels of volatile compounds associated with smoke taint in South African commercial and experimental wine by chemical analysis and sensory evaluation

by | Oct 16, 2021 | Oenology

Project number
WW ASB 16-01

Project leader
Buica, A

Stellenbosch University, Department of Viticulture and Oenology

Team members
Buica, A
Nieuwoudt, H H
McKay, M
Mokwena, L
Brand, J
Panzeni, P
Minnaar, P
Jolly, N P
Du Plessis, H
Du Toit, M
Bauer, F F
O’Kennedy, K

Project description
The most of the wine production areas of South Africa is found the south western region of the Western Cape, which has a Mediterranean climate. Long hot summers and associated strong south easterly winds mean that veld fires are frequent events during summer.

The 2015 harvest was affected, particularly in the southern peninsula, (specifically Stellenbosch and Franschhoek), by large veld fires at the time when grapes are ready for harvesting. Grape exposure to the smoke and ash has significant implications on the grapes and in the wine. The effect on health is the most important aspect linked to the presence of volatile phenols as a result of the smoke taint they impart to wines.

The aim of this research is to establish alternative and improved winemaking practices for smoke tainted grapes with tailored LAB and yeast pairings for South African wine industry.

Final Report

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