Flavours and Fragrances

pp 241-267

Wine Aroma

  • Ulrich FischerAffiliated withDepartment of Viticulture & Enology, Dienstleistungszentrum Ländlicher Raum (DLR) Rheinpfalz

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11.7 Conclusion

The impact of global warming can be well documented in worldwide viticulture by a invariably earlier initiation of blossoming, véraison and grape maturation with increasing sugar accumulation. At the same time, grapes have to adapt to increased stress exerted by water deficiency and enhanced UV-B radiation. While cool climates may alter their portfolio from early-ripening varieties to late-ripening varieties, hot climates have to counteract the impact of global warming by technological measures to reduce sugar or more likely remove excessive ethanol after fermentation.

With respect to flavour formation in grapes, knowledge has tremendously increased during the last two decades and the chemical basis of numerous varietal aromas as well as stress-induced off-flavours has been elucidated. This enables viticulturists to develop new techniques to gain the maximum varietal aroma, by either protecting the grapes against excessive sun exposure in hot climates or enhancing the benefits of sun exposure in cool climates.

At the same time, improved grape processing and a better understanding of the role of yeast in the release of varietal aromas during fermentation facilitates enologists to use the aroma potential present in the grapes to a greater extent and to produce wines of high extinction.

Application of modern technologies adapted from other food-processing areas, such as that of milk, introduces the possibility to freely recombine fractions obtained from wine. This may be beneficial for large-scale winemaking in order to produce mass-market wine styles according to consumer demands, but it also threatens the common public perception of wine as being an authentic image of unique growing conditions defined by geologic and climatic diversity, as well as regional wine varieties and traditional winemaking techniques. In this respect it seems to be of utmost importance to maintain the worldwide ban on adding any flavours to wine or grape juice. Only by sustaining this ban, the enormous sensory variation perceived in wines will reflect exclusively the natural flavour formation in grapes and during grape processing, fermentation and bottle maturation.