Influence of sustained deficit irrigation on colour parameters of Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz microscale wine fermentations

Authors: CHALMERS, Y.M.; DOWNEY, M.O.1; KRSTIC, M.P.1; LOVEYS, B.R.2; DRY, P.R.3

Source: Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research, Volume 16, Number 2, June 2010 , pp. 301-313(13)

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

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Abstract:

Abstract Background and Aims: 

This study aimed to explore the influence of sustained deficit irrigation (SDI) on the grape and wine colour parameters of two premium red wine grape varieties grown in the Sunraysia region of South Eastern Australia. Methods and Results: 

The SDI experiments were conducted during three vintages from 2003 to 2004, 2004 to 2005 and 2005 to 2006 on the Vitis vinfera cultivars Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz grafted to 140 Ruggeri (V. berlandieri × V. rupestris) rootstock. The grapevines were drip irrigated providing 100% of estimated ETc (control) and three graded sustained water deficits (Cabernet Sauvignon 70, 52 and 43% of the control; Shiraz 65, 45 and 34% of the control). Microscale wine fermentations were conducted on grapes from the 2006 harvest to assess wine colour density, wine hue, red pigments, anthocyanins, phenolics and copigmentation products in the wine. Wine anthocyanin and phenolic concentrations for both varieties showed significant increases with increasing intensity of SDI. Conclusion: 

Increases in wine colour with SDI may result from changes in flavonoid biosynthesis as a result of grapevine responses to water deficit. Alternatively, increases in red wine colour could be caused by changes in chemical properties of the anthocyanins to copigmented or polymeric forms during the winemaking or ageing process. Significance of the Study: 

The Australian wine industry is currently affected by drought and reduced water allocations resulting in production of wine from grapes exposed to water deficit. Findings from this study provide knowledge to the wine industry as to how sustained deficit irrigation may modify wine colour.

Keywords: anthocyanins; copigmentation; grape; microscale wine; sustained deficit irrigation (SDI); wine colour

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1755-0238.2010.00093.x

Affiliations: 1: Department of Primary Industries, PO Box 905, Mildura, Vic. 3502, Australia 2: CSIRO Plant Industry, PO Box 350, Glen Osmond, SA 5064, Australia 3: University of Adelaide, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, Glen Osmond, SA 5005, Australia

Publication date: June 1, 2010

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