The impact of grape berry ripeness level on berry and wine composition and potential wine style of Vitis vinifera L cv. Pinotage

Project Number
WW ET 15-01

Project title
The impact of grape berry ripeness level on berry and wine composition and potential wine style of Vitis vinifera L cv. Pinotage

Project leader
Terblanche, E

Team members
Terblanche, E
Hunter, J J
Strever, A E
Volschenk, N

Project description
Limited information is available to producers regarding the relationship between the berry ripening stage and the wine quality of Pinotage in South Africa. Ripening stage is known to change the wine phenolic content, colour, volatile composition and sensory profiles. In this study a detailed characterisation of vineyard status will be done in parallel to the tracking of wine composition over a range of ripening stages. This will provide a basis from which a more informed harvest decision for Pinotage can be made, bearing in mind the eventual wine style.

The realities of changes in consumer trends and the pressure on winemakers to create a wine that is appealing and unique, yet typical, of the variety necessitate a profound knowledge of the variety and its interaction with the biotic and abiotic environment. Sustainability needs to be kept in mind amidst a changing climate and depleting natural resources. This study therefore proposes a detailed investigation of grape and wine composition and wine sensory profiles of Pinotage, grafted onto three known drought tolerant rootstocks (110 Richter, 140 Ruggeri and 1103 Paulsen), as altered by ripening stage (5 harvest dates e.g. 21ºB, 23 ºB, 25 ºB, 27 ºB & 29 ºB ). The performance of Pinotage on each of these rootstocks will deliver relevant data with reference to future drier conditions/limited water supply.

Data obtained of wine chemical and sensorial properties will be related to a dynamic description of the plant-environment continuum and grape berry development in order to obtain accurate information regarding relationships between leaf (source) and grape (sink) seasonal metabolic changes. In this way, reference data is created that would form the basis of future practical parameters that may enable producers to judge and manipulate optimal grape and wine quality associated with a particular style

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