Sensorial and volatile analysis of wines made from partially dehydrated grapes: An Ontario case study

Jennifer M. Kelly, Debra L. Inglis, Gary J. Pickering

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
25 Downloads (Pure)


Winemaking in cool climate viticultural areas can pose challenges due to difficulties in achieving optimal ripeness from climatic conditions that tend to vary vintage-to-vintage. To stabilize quality, the use of partially dehydrated grapes has been indicated as beneficial to the production of high-quality wine (“appassimento” style) despite climatic variation. Postharvest wine grape dehydration is a complex process that involves the concentration or formation of sugars, aromas, and flavours. One of the quality challenges facing appassimento style winemaking is elevated levels of undesirable oxidation compounds. The aim of this study was to characterize wines made from a local yeast isolate, Saccharomyces uvarum CN1, which demonstrates limited osmotolerance and may have application to this wine style, as it is a known lower producer of such compounds. Wines made with CN1 were compared to wines made with the accepted commercial standard, S. cerevisiae, EC1118. Fermentations (n = 24) were established at three target starting sugar concentrations from dehydrated Cabernet franc grapes (24.5, 26.0, and 27.5°Brix) and a control (21.5°Brix) and were assessed for volatile organic compound (VOC) composition via gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Wines also underwent quantitative descriptive analysis to identify and quantify sensory attributes by a trained panel (n = 11). Results show that the wines fermented with the yeast isolate contain significant differences in the concentrations of VOCs in the wines. Sensorially, the wines differed in intensity for a number of attributes, including red fruit aroma, black fruit flavour, and length of finish both within Brix treatments and amongst yeast strains. The most important differentiating factor amongst these wines was the combination of yeast strain at the highest starting sugar concentration (27.5°Brix). These findings may assist winemakers by informing the yeast strain choice for optimizing appassimento style wine quality in cool climates.
Original languageEnglish
Article number8861185
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Food Quality
Publication statusPublished - 24 Dec 2020


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