Original Paper

European Food Research and Technology

, Volume 220, Issue 5, pp 597-606

Effect of ripening stage of grapes on the low molecular weight phenolic compounds of red wines

  • Silvia Pérez-MagariñoAffiliated withDpto de Biotecnología y Ciencia de los Alimentos, Universidad de Burgos Email author 
  • , M Luisa González-San JoséAffiliated withDpto de Biotecnología y Ciencia de los Alimentos, Universidad de Burgos

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Different red wines were elaborated to study the effect of the date of the grape harvest on the levels of individual low molecular weight phenolic compounds, which are chiefly responsible for the wine color. Two red grape varieties and two consecutive years were studied at three different harvesting stages of grapes, and the changes during the 18 months of wine aging (12 months in oak barrels and 6 months in the bottle) were also followed. The results showed that the wines made from grapes harvested 1 week later than the usual date generally had higher contents of some simple phenols, which can act as cofactors that can maintain the color intensity and violet tonalities in aged wines. Besides, these wines had lower levels of caftaric and coutaric acids, which are two of the main substrates for oxidation and browning processes.


Aging Cofactors Color Red grapes Low molecular weight phenols Red wines Ripening