Impact of berry size at harvest on red wine composition: a winemaker's approach
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Gil Cortiella M.
del Barrio-Galán R.
BACKGROUND: A classical postulate of viticulture declares that small grape berries produce the best red wines. The popularity of this postulate among winemakers leads them to consider berry size at harvest as a tool to measure the grape's potential to obtain great red wines. To address this issue, two vineyards from the same cultivar and subjected to the same physiological conditions during growing were selected for their difference in average grape berry size at harvest. Grapes from both origins were characterized and used for red winemaking by the same way. Release of volatile compounds and phenolic compounds during the alcoholic fermentation was monitored, and the finished wines were chemically characterized. RESULTS: Larger grapes have a lower theoretical surface-to-volume ratio but have thicker skins and a greater proportion of skins (m/m). Wines made from grapes with a greater proportion of skins contain higher amounts of phenolic compounds, terpenes, volatile acids, acetate esters and polysaccharides. CONCLUSION: According to the results, it seems that grape skin extraction is more related to skin proportion than to berry size. Thus not always smaller grapes produce darker red wines. © 2019 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2019 Society of Chemical Industry
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