Month: June 2018

Purified grape pomace: a promising new wine fining agent

By Encarna Gómez-Plaza

Fining is a winemaking technique used to remove unwanted wine components that affect clarification, astringency, color, bitterness, aroma and even safety of the wine. One of the objectives of fining is often to reduce the wine tannin content due to its effect on wine astringency. Proteinaceous agents are commonly used with this objective, but they may present problems related with their possible allergenic properties. The EU Directive 2007/68/EC (November 27, 2007) indicates the legal obligation to indicate their presence on the label, a fact that may reduce their attraction for consumers. Moreover, some strict vegetarians, such as vegans, do not accept any beverage treated with products of animal origin and these are the main reasons why fining agents of vegetal origin have become more popular as substitutes of animal-origin potentially allergenic proteins. But proteinaceous fining agents may cause an excessive enrichment of wine with proteins, which may cause stability and turbidity problems. This has led to the search for new fining agents. In this way, the cell wall material from processed grape pomace, or the direct use of purified grape pomace could be a good alternative.


We have been working for the last two years with this material. Our results showed that, at laboratory scale, pomace cell walls have a fining effect that exceeds that of most the protein-based fining agents, even when used at their highest recommended doses. The cell wall material significantly reduced the wine phenolic content, the reduction ranging from 48 to 68% for anthocyanins and from 44 to 64% for tannins. The pomace cell walls exhibited such a high capacity that they should be used at much lower doses than those used in our study and reducing the dose we will also reduce the formation of lees and the wine adsorbed on them (Jimenez-Martínez et al., 2017).
However, the obtention of purified cell walls is a laborious and tedious work so we tried to word with a much simpler purification of the pomace. When instead of cell walls, purified pomace was used, we could observe that tannins were also reduce, a positive effect may result in decreasing astringency in the wine, although a slight decrease in the wine color also take place since the anthocyanins are also retained by this material and that may affect the wine quality. These problems of color retention can be limited reducing the dose of purified grape pomace and the contact time. Our studies showed that a dose of 6 mg/ml and a contact time of 5 days could be suitable for decreasing the wine tannin content without producing great changes in the wine chromatic characteristics. The level of tannin reduction can be similar to those observed by different commercial products (Jiménez-Martínez, 2018).

We have also worked with purified grape pomace (PGP) from different varieties and the size exclusion chromatography (SEC) analysis allowed us to observe the variations in the molecular size of the phenolic compounds of the wine after the fining treatment with PGP, which would affect the attributes of the wine (mouthfeel, bitterness, astringency and the concentration of stable polymeric pigments in wine), observing how these phenolic compounds were affected, especially the compounds of high molecular weight, which are related to astringency and bitterness although it was found that PGP also reduced low molecular mass tannin.

The quality of red wine also depends on the absence of compounds which may affect its safety and/or stability such as ochratoxin A, biogenic amines and some metals and trace compounds. The presence of ochratoxin A in musts and wines is due to fungal contamination of the grapes and has been classified as a possible human carcinogen. Biogenic amines are formed by the microbiological decarboxylation of the corresponding amino acid precursors during the fermentation or aging and storage, and, at high concentrations, they may induce adverse reactions in sensitive people. Trace elements may have both a nutritional and a toxic effect on health, but also can cause turbidity and stability problems. One of the best options to remove these compounds when present in excess in wine is fining. We studied if this material can limit the presence of ochratoxin A, biogenic amines and metals and some trace elements in a red wine, thus increasing the value and safety of this product. Purified grape pomace led to very good results, and resulted in a significant reduction of OTA, histamine and of K and Ca, which could lead to a reduction in tartrate instability (Jiménez-Martínez et al., 2018).

Therefore, this material could be a good alternative for protein-based fining agents in red wine, as they are insoluble, relatively inert, polysaccharide-based, and may also reduce turbidity problems and can be used to reduce tannins and contaminants such as OTA and BA. Also, a reduction of K and Ca could be of interest. Moreover, their use would avoid allergen-related effects. Lastly, the use of pomace CW material as a fining agent could increase the added value of this byproduct, which is currently very low and very abundant in wineries. Grape pomace is one of the most abundant and valuable winery by-products. Recent OIV statistics have pointed to a worldwide production of grapes of 75.8 million tons, of which 35.62 million are destined for wine production while 30% of this last weight results in byproducts (OIV World Vitiviniculture Situation, 2017). The main byproduct is grape pomace (seeds, skin, and peduncle), and its valorization is considered an important issue. In a wider context, regulations are being focused to make the food chain in the EU more efficient and the development of new alternative uses for unavoidable wastes is actively encouraged (Opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee on ‘Civil society’s contribution to a strategy for prevention and reduction of food losses and food waste’, EC 2013/C 161/08).

Encarna Gómez-Plaza studied chemistry at University of Murcia (Spain). She did her Ph.D. in 1992 on the study of the volatile components of grapes and wines. She was hired by the Agricultural Research Service and the California Raisin Advisory Board in Fresno (California) to carry out a research project on the presence of trichloroanisoles in raisins. She returned to Spain with a reincorporation contract for doctors and technicians and for three years she continued working on grapes and wines, focusing on the polyphenolic and chromatic characterization of red wines. She joined Professor J.M. López-Roca team in January 1998 as an Assistant Professor in Food Technology at the University of Murcia. She is a full time Professor in this University since 2007.
She has participated in numerous research projects with regional and national funding on the study of grapes and wines. Currently, her research area focuses mainly, although not exclusively, on the study of the chromatic characteristics of grapes and wines and in the interaction of phenolic compounds and polysaccharides and the impact these interactions may have in wine quality. She is the author of numerous scientific publications in both popular and high impact scientific journals and reviewer of some of the best journals scientific food technology.


Jiménez-Martínez,M.D., Gómez-Plaza, E., Molero, N., & Bautista-Ortin, A. B. (2017). Fining of red wines with pomace cell wall material: Effect on wine phenolic composition. Food and Bioprocess Technology, 10, 1531-1539.
Jimenez-Martínez, M.D. Possibilidades tecnológicas de las paredes celulares de los orujos de uva como agentes afinantes durante la vinificación. Ph.D. Thesis, University of Murcia.
Jiménez-Martínez,M.D., Gil-Muñoz, R., Gómez-Plaza, E., & Bautista-Ortin, A. B. (2018). Performance of purified grape pomace as a fining agent to reduce the levels of some contaminants from wine. Food Additives and Contanimants, On line first,

Posted by in Enology, Viticulture

Lactic acid bacteria from Patagonian red wines

By Natalia S. Brizuela, E. Elizabeth Tymczyszyn and L. Semorile

Winemaking is a complex microbial process in which yeasts and lactic acid bacteria (LAB) play a significant role. Yeasts consume sugars to produce ethanol and lead the alcoholic fermentation (AF). The malolactic fermentation (MLF) is responsible for the conversion of L-malic acid to L-lactic acid and CO2, causing a reduction of titrable acidity, and a small increase in the pH of wine. MLF also leads to enhanced microbial stability and is usually believed to improve the complexity of wine aroma, which is linked to the LAB enzymatic activity (Cappello et al., 2017; Iorizzo et al., 2016; Liu, 2002). Several organic acids, in addition to L-malic acid, could be metabolized by LAB during MLF, such as, acetic, citric and tartaric acids. The balance of organic acids has a strong impact on wine taste, being the total consumption of L-malic acid the premise to reduce acidity and astringency of wines (Volschenk et al., 2006).
Oencoccus oeni is the major bacterial species find in wines during spontaneous MLF due to high tolerance to harsh wine conditions (Wibowo et al., 1985). However, O. oeni can also be detected with other LAB, mainly Lactobacillus spp., and in particular Lactobacillus plantarum species (Lonvaud-Funel et al., 1999, Lerm et al., 2011, Bravo-Ferrada et al., 2013, Valdés La Hens et al., 2015). Some strains of O. oeni and Lb. plantarum are able to produce enzymatic reactions that modify the wine aroma profile (Cappello et al., 2017; Tristezza et al., 2016). Although the presence of a broad range of enzymes in wine LAB have been documented (glycosidases, esterases, phenolic acid decarboxylases, citrate lyases) (Liu, 2002; Ugliano et al., 2003, Matthews et al., 2004, Grimaldi et al., 2005a, 2005b), information on the role of these bacterial enzyme activities including their potential use in winemaking is still limited (Cappello et al., 2017).
Argentinean North Patagonia is one of the southernmost winegrowing regions of the world that has optimal agro-ecological conditions for high quality viticulture, in which the Pinot noir varietal has found the optimal conditions to express its full oenological potential (Crisóstomo, 2007). Although the flavor of Pinot noir wine could vary among wine regions, and according to winemaking practices, in general it has a fruity and spicy bouquet (Feng et al., 2017; Girard et al., 1997; Guinard et al., 1987). In Patagonian red wines, MLF occurs spontaneously and randomly, mainly by action of native Lb. plantarum and O. oeni strains (Figure 1) (Valdés La Hens et al., 2015).


Figure 1. Scheme of dependent and independent culture methods applied to study the LAB community present in Patagonian Pinot noir and Merlot wines during spontaneous MLF.


In order to avoid delay and spoilage during this process, the use of malolactic starter cultures is an option. However, the commercial cultures are formulated with strains from other wine-growing regions and their use could negatively affect the properties of wine terroir (Bokulich et al., 2014; González-Arenzana et al., 2012). The selection of autochthonous strains, best adapted to regional winemaking conditions, is desirable.
In previous works, we have isolated and characterized several Lb. plantarum and O. oeni strains from Merlot and Pinot noir Patagonian wines, including psychrotrophic strains able to conduct microvinification assays at low temperature (10 °C) (Fig 1) (Bravo-Ferrada et al. 2013, Bravo-Ferrada et al. 2014, Valdés La Hens et al., 2015, Manera et al. 2017). Studies of tolerance to wine stress factors in wine-like medium or in sterile wine, as well as the analysis of some enzymatic activities and the screening of aroma related genes, allowed us to select the best candidate strains to formulate regional starter cultures for MLF (Bravo- Ferrada et al., 2013; Bravo-Ferrada et al., 2016; Brizuela et al., 2017; Valdés La Hens et al., 2015). We also have studied the ability of previously selected O. oeni and Lb. plantarum strains to modify the volatile compounds profile after inoculation in sterile and non-sterile Pinot noir wine. We found that O. oeni strains could produce an adequate level of diacetyl and a higher concentration of fruity esters, which are characteristics of Pinot noir wines, whereas Lb. plantarum strains showed a better capacity to consume L-malic acid (Brizuela et al., 2018).
These results allow us to suppose that properly selected strains of both species will be able to induce and successful complete the MLF, at different temperatures, could offer an interesting advantage to improve the sensory attributes and the wine quality. In order to achieve this goal, it is expected to be able to design regional malolactic starter cultures, easy to use in the winery, and able to highlight the regional terroir.

Molecular Microbiology Laboratory – Institute of Basic and Applied Microbiology - Department of Science and Technology - Universidad Nacional de Quilmes (LMM - UNQ), Bernal, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Research Group:

Dr. Liliana Semorile: Head Professor UNQ, Member of Research Career of Comisión de Investigaciones Científicas de la Provincia de Buenos Aires – CIC BA
Dr. E. Elizabeth Tymczyszyn: Member of Research Career of Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas - CONICET
Dr. Axel Hollmann: Assistant Professor UNQ, Member of Research Career of CONICET
Dr. Danay Valdés la Hens: Assistant Professor UNQ, Member of Research Career of CIC BA
Dr. Lucrecia Delfederico: Associate Professor and Researcher UNQ
Dr. Bárbara M. Bravo-Ferrada: Assistant Professor UNQ, Member of Research Career of CONICET
Dr. Nair T. Olguín: Member of Research Career of CONICET
Natalia S. Brizuela: PhD Student CONICET
Gabriel A. Rivas: PhD Student CONICET

The academic staff of LMM is composed by specialized personnel in the areas of Biotechnology, Molecular Biology and Microbiology. Since 2007 the group is working in different aspects of the lactic acid bacteria involved in malolactic fermentations of Patagonian red wines. Currently, studies under development include the following topics:

  • Preservation of native Patagonian O. oeni and Lb. plantarum strains.
  • Optimization optimization of dehydration - rehydration processes of LAB strains of oenological interest.
  • Evaluation of changes in the volatile profile red wines by native O. oeni and Lb. plantarum strains.
  • Selection of psychrotolerant native LAB strains to formulate malolactic starter cultures suitable for fermentations at low temperatures.
  • Analysis of changes involved in the bacterial adaptation to harsh wine environment.
  • Application of high-throughput sequencing to evaluate the yeasts and bacterial communities associated with wines from the South of Buenos Aires province.

All these studies have been reflected in more than 100 papers in specialized journals and books chapters, over of 250 congress communications, and more than 50 research projects funded by national and international organizations. This research has been complemented with a formative activity that has been reflected in 10 defended thesis and some others to be defended shortly.


  1. Bokulich NA, Thorngate JH, Richardson PM, Mills DA (2014) Microbial biogeography of wine grapes is conditioned by cultivar, vintage, and climate. Proc Natl Acad Sci 111: E139-E148.
  2. Bravo-Ferrada BM, Delfederico L, Hollmann A, Valdés La Hens D, Curilén Y, Caballero, A, Semorile L (2011) Oenococcus oeni from Patagonian red wines: isolation, characterization and technological properties. Int J Microbiol Res 3(1), 48.
  3. Bravo-Ferrada BM, Hollmann A, Delfederico L, La Hens DV, Caballero A, Semorile L (2013). Patagonian red wines: selection of Lactobacillus plantarum isolates as potential starter cultures for malolactic fermentation. World J Microbiol Biotechnol 29(9), 1537-1549.
  4. Bravo‐Ferrada BM, Tymczyszyn EE, Gómez‐Zavaglia A, Semorile .L (2014) Effect of acclimation medium on cell viability, membrane integrity and ability to consume malic acid in synthetic wine by oenological Lactobacillus plantarum strains. J Appl Microbiol 116(2), 360-367.
  5. Bravo-Ferrada BM, Hollmann A, Brizuela NS, Valdés La Hens D, Tymczyszyn EE, Semorile L (2016) Growth and consumption of L-malic acid in wine-like medium by acclimated and non-acclimated cultures of Patagonian Oenococcus oeni strains. Folia Microbiol 61(5), 365-373.
  6. Brizuela NS, Bravo-Ferrada BM, Pozo-Bayón MA, Semorile L, Tymczyszyn EE (2018) Changes in the volatile profile of Pinot noir wines caused by Patagonian Lactobacillus plantarum and Oenococcus oeni strains. Food Res Int 106, 22-28.
  7. Brizuela NS, Bravo-Ferrada BM, Valdés La Hens D, Hollmann A, Delfederico L, Caballero A, Semorile L (2017) Comparative vinification assays with selected Patagonian strains of Oenococcus oeni and Lactobacillus plantarum. LWT-Food Sci Technol 77, 348-355. doi: 10.1016/j.lwt.2016.11.023
  8. Cappello MS, Zapparoli G, Logrieco A, Bartowsky EJ (2017) Linking wine lactic acid bacteria diversity with wine aroma and flavour. Int J Food Microbiol 243, 16-27.
  9. Crisóstomo B (2007) Caracterización fisicoquímica de mostos de uva de la Región Sur destinados a vinificación. Graduate Thesis UNCO.
  10. Feng H, Skinkis PA, Qian MC (2017) Pinot noir wine volatile and anthocyanin composition under different levels of vine fruit zone leaf removal. Food Chem 214, 736-744.
  11. Girard B, Kopp TG, Reynolds AG, Cliff M (1997) Influence of vinification treatments on aroma constituents and sensory descriptors of Pinot noir wines. Am J Enology Vitic 48(2), 198-206.
  12. González-Arenzana L, Santamaría P, López R, Tenorio C, López-Alfaro I (2012) Dynamics of indigenous lactic acid bacteria in wine fermentation from La Rioja (Spain) during three vintages. Environ Microbiol 63:12-19.
  13. Grimaldi A, Bartowsky E, Jiranek V. (2005a) Screening of Lactobacillus spp. and Pediococcus spp. for glycosidase activities that are important in oenology. J Appl Microbiol 99(5):1061-9.
  14. Grimaldi A, Bartowsky E, Jiranek V (2005b) A survey of glycosidase activities of commercial wine strains of Oenococcus oeni. Int J Food Microbiol 105(2), 233-244.
  15. Guinard JX, Cliff M (1987) Descriptive analysis of Pinot noir wines from Carneros, Napa, and Sonoma. Am J Enol Vitic 38(3), 211-215.
  16. Iorizzo M, Testa B, Lombardi SJ, García-Ruiz A, Muñoz-González C, Bartolomé B, Moreno-Arribas MV (2016) Selection and technological potential of Lactobacillus plantarum bacteria suitable for wine malolactic fermentation and grape aroma release. LWT-Food Sci Technol 73, 557-566.
  17. Lerm E, Engelbrecht L, du Toit M (2011) Selection and characterization of Oenococcus oeni and Lactobacillus plantarum South African wine isolates for use as malolactic fermentation starter cultures. S Afr J Enol Vitic 32(2), 280-295.
  18. Liu SQ (2002) Malolactic fermentation in wine–beyond deacidification. J Appl Microbiol 92(4), 589-601.
  19. López I, López R, Santamaría P, Torres C, Ruiz-Larrea F (2008) Performance of malolactic fermentation by inoculation of selected Lactobacillus plantarum and Oenococcus oeni strains isolated from Rioja red wine. Vitis 47:123-129
  20. Matthews A, Grimaldi A, Walker M, Bartowsky E, Grbin P, Jiranek V (2004) Lactic acid bacteria as a potential source of enzymes for use in vinification. Appl Environ Microbiol 70(10), 5715-5731.
  21. Miller BJ, Franz CM, Cho GS, du Toit M (2011) Expression of the malolactic enzyme gene (mle) from Lactobacillus plantarum under winemaking conditions. Curr Microbiol 62:1682-1688.
  22. Tristezza M, di Feo L, Tufariello M, Grieco F, Capozzi V, Spano G, Mita G (2016) Simultaneous inoculation of yeasts and lactic acid bacteria: effects on fermentation dynamics and chemical composition of Negroamaro wine. LWT-Food Sci Tech 66, 406-412.
  23. Ugliano M, Genovese A, Moio L (2003) Hydrolysis of wine aroma precursors during malolactic fermentation with four commercial starter cultures of Oenococcus oeni. J Agric Food Chem 51(17), 5073-5078.
  24. Valdés La Hens D, Bravo‐Ferrada BM, Delfederico L, Caballero AC, Semorile L (2015) Prevalence of Lactobacillus plantarum and Oenococcus oeni during spontaneous malolactic fermentation in Patagonian red wines revealed by polymerase chain reaction‐denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis with two targeted genes. Aust J Grape Wine Res 21(1), 49-56.
  25. Volschenk H, van Vuuren HJJ, Viljoen-Bloom M (2006) Malic acid in wine: origin, function and metabolism during vinification. S Afr J Enol Vitic 27(2):123-136. doi: 10.21548/27-2-1613.
  26. Wibowo D, Eschenbruch R, Davis CR, Fleet GH, Lee TH (1985) Occurrence and growth of lactic acid bacteria in wine: a review. Am J Enol Vitic 36(4), 302-313.
Posted by in Enology, Viticulture

Climate change expandes the suitability for wine production to higher altitudes and to northern latitudes in Europe wine regions. Recent findings from the Life-ADVICLIM project

By CLiviu Mihai Irimia, Hervé Quénol and Cristian Valeriu Patriche

One of the broadly debated topics during the last three decades has been the climate change, a phenomenon with global manifestation and whose evolution and finality are far from being known. Perhaps that is the uncertainty that makes concerns even bigger. All the more so, we all notice, that human society is affected in its entirety, seeking solutions to adapt. About 0.89 °C increase in the average of global temperature during the XX century has brought an increase in the frequency of extreme phenomena, while for the end of the XXI century an increase of 1,4...5,8 °C in the average of the the global temperature is predicted (IPCC, 2013). Human society is entirely affected, from basic aspects like water and food resources, health and education to the various sectors of the economy: agriculture, tourism, transport, etc.

Viticulture, a multi-billion-dollars industry (Anderson and Nelgen, 2011), including 7.5 mln ha of plantations, thousands of wine producing companies and an important contribution to tourism industry is equally affected (Lallanilla, 2013). According to research in the last two decades, climate change modify the potential of wine regions on globe and affects the well-known sensory profile of wines, determining difficulties in grape growing, producing wine and wine capitalization. For this reasons, the influence of climate change on viticulture is of major interest and is studied in all its details, while the consequences are assessed in relation to their impact.
The impact relates mainly to temperature influence on the growth, fruiting and chemical composition of grapes in grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.). This species is more sensitive to temperature than many other crops, which is why, globally, its area of culture is restricted to 30-50 ° lat. N and 30-40 °lat. S, in zones with an average temperature of the growing season (AvGST, April-October/October-April) of 12...22 °C (Jones 2006). In areas with AvGST of less than 12 °C, grapes do not ripe and the vine is destroyed by the winter frosts; while in areas with an AvGST above 22 °C, the chemical composition of grapes is affected by the increase of sugar content, acidity diminution and degradation of flavors and anthocyanins. The same thermal sensitivity of the grapevine makes it possible to obtain sparkling wines and white table wines in the areas with average temperatures of July from 18.1 to 19.7 °C; quality white wines in areas with a July average temperature higher than 19.8 °C; and quality red wines in areas with an average temperature of July higher than 21 °C (Irimia, 2012). Therefore, a strict dependence of grapevine and of wine quality on climate and in particular on temperature.

In fact, vineyards have been established over the centuries according to the climate, the relief and the soils of the area, maintaining in culture the best adapted grapevine varieties and selecting the training systems that capitalize best their quality potential under those conditions. For this reason, the increase of temperatures on the background of climate change is seen as a factor that can alter the climatic profile of the vineyards and, together with it, the well-known wine sensory profile. Moreover, according to important research of the last decade (Hannah et al., 2013, Moriondo et al., 2013), with the rise of temperatures, there is a danger that in the Mediterranean climate, where the thermal regime is already at the upper limit of suitability for quality wine production, viticulture will become economically unviable. Reference is made to world’s famous wine regions such as Vallée du Rhône - France, Barolo-Italy, where the average temperature of the growing season increased between 1950 and 1999 by 1.26 to 4,07 °C (Jones et al., 2005). By contrast, the wine regions located close to the northern limits of the grapevine growing area (Rhine Valley, Moselle Valley, Champagne, Alsace) benefit by a climate improvement that becomes more and more suitable to quality wine production (Jones et al., 2005). Moreover, climate warming leads to the expansion of viticulture in areas previously considered too cold for Vitis vinifera L., such as Quebec, Canada; Kamloops, Canada; Zilona Góra, Poland; Aalborg, Denmark; or even Gothenburg, Sweden, located at 57.70 ° N (Jones and Schultz, 2016) where the growing of cold-resistant hybrids Rondo, Vidal, Regent and early varieties such as Madeleine Angevine and Siegerrebe mark the beginning of viticulture as a local occupation. In the future, if climatic warming is to continue, more valuable varieties such as Müller-Thurgau, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Pinot Gris and Sauvignon Blanc will be introduced into these regions and will produce better wines. This context also explains the efforts that scientists are making to understand the impact of climate change on grapevine and wine production, to anticipate future developments and to find ways to adapt viticulture to climate change. The aim is to preserve the vineyards’ specificity and, in particular, to preserve the well-known, specific wine sensory profile unaltered.


Figure: ADVICLIM team visiting temperature sensors network in Saint-Émilion-Bordeaux pilot


Since Europe is the main wine producer and the owner of the world's most famous wine regions, the efforts that are being made here to understand, forecast and control the influence of climate change on viticulture are by far the most significant. In this sphere of study is included the research carried out since 2014 in the framework of the European project LIFE ADVICLIM, coordinated by CNRS/University Rennes 2 (France) and having PhD Hervé Quénol of UMR6554LETG Centre as a Director. This project brings together viticulture and climatology specialists from France, Germany, United Kingdom, Romania and Spain aiming to find solutions to adapt viticulture to climate change. The pilot sites of the project are located in Saint Emillion – Bordeaux; Saumur Champigny and Coteaux du Layon - Val de Loire, France; Plumpton - South Sussex, United Kingdom; Rüdesheim – Rheingau, Germany; Cotnari - Romania; and Ausejo and Carbonera - La Rioja, Spain, vineyards and wine regions representing the climatic diversity of European viticulture. The specialists of the ADVICLIM project come from Bordeaux Sciences Agro, INRA Angers-Nantes, CNRS, University of Rennes 2, French Institute for Vine and Wine, ECOCLIMASOL (France); Hochschule Geisenheim University (Germany); University of Agricultural Sciences Iaşi (Romania); Plumpton College (United Kingdom); Public University of Navarra (Spain).


Using networks of temperature sensors that record temperature variation in each pilot site, the project aims to identify the changes occurring in the climate of vineyards on a fine scale, to determine the impact of these changes on grapevine phenology and on grapes chemical composition and, depending on it, also to offer solutions for adapting vineyards management to the new climatic context (Quénol et al., 2014).
The results achieved so far in the ADVICLIM project have revealed, indeed, major changes in the climate suitability for the wine growing in all studied wine regions, regardless of the climate type: changes in the multiannual average of bioclimatic indices (Huglin index, Oenoclimate Aptitude Index, Average Growing Season Temperature etc.), indicating, in some cases, that the vineyards climate passed to another class of suitability for the wine production. Such an example is the Cotnari wine region in Romania, a traditional white wine producer that, due to temperature increasing, has switched to the production of red wines too (Irimia et al., 2016). These changes are very obvious on the maps of viticulture potential developed within the ADVICLIM project and which local viticulturists use to develop their strategy of adapting their vineland holdings to climate change.


Figure: Temperature sensor in Corbonera – La Rioja, Spain

Figure: Maps of climate suitability for the wine production, for the Cotnari wine region (Romania)


Similar changes have taken place in the other pilot sites of the project: an increase in heliothermal resources that still favor the autochthonous Tempranillo variety in Ausejo - La Rioja, Spain; the occurrence of climate suitability for the wine production in Carbonera – La Rioja, at higher altitude of about 850 m asl, unsuitable for viticulture in the past; an increase in the heliothermal resources of the local climate in Saint-Émilion - Bordeaux, which makes the wines of last decades amid climate warming to be comparable to the best millésimes of 50-60 years ago; an increase in the heliothermal resources that adds a plus of quality to white wines produced in Rüdesheim, on the spectacular slopes of the Rhine Valley, a Nordic, cool area, where the research made within the ADVICLIM project have indicated that even the production of red wines of varieties such as Pinot noir, Merlot and Cabernet Franc will soon be possible; also increases in climate suitability for wine production in Plumpton, South Sussex - UK, where the climate, still remaining at the lower limit of suitability for viticulture, indicates that besides the excellent sparkling wines of the area, excellent quality white wines in the near future it will be possible to produce.

Figure: ADVICLIM project notice board in Rüdesheim, on the Rhine Valley


Beyond these developments, the results of the ADVICLIM project confirm the changes of climatic suitability for the wine production predicted in last decade in reference studies (Jones et al., 2005; Hannah et al., 2013; Moriondo et al., 2013). These shifts do not mean just changes in local climate, switches from suitability for white wines to suitability for red wines too, as in the case of the Cotnari or the Rheingau wine regions. It also means significant spatial shifts, namely shifting the area of climate suitability for the production of a certain wine type to higher altitude, if the relief allows, and to northern, cooler latitudes. These shifts are described in a study on the impact of climate change on Romania's viticulture (Irimia et al., 2017). It was found that the area suitable for wine production expanded on altitude about 180 m asl, from 650 m asl in the past to about 830 m asl at present. It also expanded to north by 0.036°; what is more, each class of suitability that determines a certain type of wine production shifts to higher altitude. The research carried out in the ADVICLIM project has revealed similar shifts of suitability in all areas with hilly relief: on the Rhein Valley, in Rheingau, the cool climate specific to the area, suitable for wine grape varieties such as Müller-Thurgau and Riesling moves higher on altitude from an average of 110 m asl in the past (1950-1990) to about 210 m asl at present, being replaced in the low area at 60-70 m asl by a new class of suitability, which allows the cultivation of the Cabernet Franc and Merlot varieties. Also, in Spain, in Ausejo, the climate suitable for Tempranillo and Grenache moves above 80 m asl, from an average of about 320 m asl in the past to about 400 m asl today. Regarding the latitude movements, appreciated on the fine scale of the vineyard, they are hard to detect, and yet the research made in the ADVICLIM project has found out such shifts, e.g. in the La Rioja region, where the temperate – warm climate, suitable for Grenache and Tempranillo shifted from an average latitude of 42,327 °N lat. to 42,427 °N lat.; or on the Rhine Valley, where the cool climate specific to the area shifted from an average latitude of 49,960 °N lat. to an average latitude of 49,987 °N lat.

Figure: Rheingau - mean annual temperature for the 1951-1990


Figure: Rheingau - mean annual temperature for the 1991-2010


Hence major shifts in climate suitability for the grapevine growing and wine production in all wine regions studied within the ADVICLIM project, regardless of their climate, and which predict shifts in the structure of winetype production in European viticulture. At this moment the impact is absolutely favorable for the studied wine growing regions, the adaptation consisting, in general, in capitalization of the new opportunities brought by the climate change. However, if this phenomenon continues in the direction of increasing temperatures up to the limits of suitability for the wine production there could be serious consequences on the areas of DOC wine production and on the wine’s well-known sensory profile. The potential for adaptation to climate change of some wine regions is larger while others is more limited, but the slow evolution of these shifts in time will enable the wine industry and consumers to become accustomed to a situation arising from a possible new climate context.

Liviu Mihai Irimia is an Associate Professor at the University of Agricultural Sciences of Iasi (USAMV, Iași, Romania), Department of Horticultural Technologies. His entire professional career is related to Viticulture, starting with the fact that he originate in an important wine-growing region of Romania (Husi wine-growing region) and completes his current activity as a researcher and professor in Viticulture. His expertise in Viticulture is a mix of in-depth knowledge gained through study, practical experience, scientific research and professor over 23 years (1994-2017). Graduate of the Faculty of Horticulture in Iasi USAMV (1994) with a license in the study of new Romanian grapevine varieties; manager of a vine plantation of 100 ha between 1994-2002; student of Bourgogne University (France), Institute Universitaire de Vigne et du Vin Jules Guyot (2005); PhD in Viticulture-Oenology at USAMV Iasi, Romania (2006); assistant professor and later lecturer in Viticulture - Ampelography at the USAMV Iasi, between 2002-2012; researcher in Viticulture with expertise in the study of vine training systems, GIS-based analysis of wine-growing areas and viticultural climatology.

Collaborator of CNRS France (LETG COSTEL) in the research projects JC 07-194103 TERVICLIM (2008-2012) and GICC-TERADCLIM (2011-2013); responsible for the USAMV Iasi (Romania) partner in the European project Life ADVICLIM (2014-2019) coordinated by Rennes 2 University (France); Director of the 7BG / 2016 AVEVINPERFORM (2016-2018) research project of the UEFISCDI Romania. Member of the Chaire UNESCO "Culture et Traditions du Vin" of the University of Bourgogne (France), from 2012 and member of the Romanian Society of Horticulturists from 2006. National prizes for scientific articles 2015 and 2016 and OIV Mention (2015) as co-author of the book Changement climatique et terroirs viticoles, Ed. Lavoisier Tec & Doc (France). Author of about 60 scientific papers in the field of Viticulture and of the book Biology, Ecology and Physiology of the Grapevine (2012). As a researcher, Liviu Mihai Irimia collaborates currently with personalities of world viticulture from France, Germany, England, Spain, New Zealand and USA, mainly in studying the impact of climate change on Viticulture.

Hervé Quénol is geographer-climatologist working as senior scientist at the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) in the LETG (Littoral Environment Remote-Sensing Geomatics) laboratory (Rennes, France). Visiting researcher at the University of Canterbury (2016-2018). His research group focuses on the interactions between climate and anthropic activities. His research group focuses research on analyses and modelling of climate at fine scales in the climate change context; Climatology and Viticulture; Urban climatology. He the European Environment-LIFE project ADapatation of VIticulture to CLIMate change: High resolution observations of adaptation scenario for viticulture 2014-2019. He is also the contact person for the web site.

Patriche Cristian Valeriu works within the Romanian Academy, Department of Iasi, Geography Group as a senior research scientist. He has a PhD in geography since 2004 and more than 20 years of research experience. His expertise includes applications of geographical information systems, statistical analysis and remote sensing mainly in geomorphology, climatology and agroclimatology, soil science. The most important such applications refer to ecological suitability evaluation for viticulture, soil erosion modelling, landslide susceptibility assessment, digital mapping of climate and soil parameters.

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Posted by in Viticulture

Indigenous wine colloids – a challenging analytical and functional chemistry for oenology

By Christian Coelho

Wine contains many types of colloidal substances, which must be considered by winemakers in their decisions related to wine production (must racking, lees sedimentation, filterability, wood ageing) and wine stability (tartaric precipitations, protein hazes, colour stability, ageability). Some of them, such as tannins and polysaccharides, are also known to contribute to the final sensorial perception of wines particularly regarding astringency, bitterness and smoothness (Vidal et al., 2004). Indigenous colloids can be naturally extracted from grape and their concentration, after harvesting and pressing, are totally dependent of grape variety and maturity, and of pressing or the maceration pre-fermentative steps (Paetzold et al., 1990, Nunan et al, 2001). After must fermentation, the colloidal composition of wine is totally rearranged due to the metabolic activity of microorganisms’ consortiums and particularly species like Saccharomyces cerevisae, Oenococcus oeni and Lactobacillus Plantarum. Nowadays, the contribution of non-Saccharomyces yeasts to the wine composition is a study area in expansion (Simonin et al. 2018). The type of wine ageing (lees ageing, wood ageing) also confers a non-negligible colloidal fraction that contribute to the organoleptic perceptions of wines, and the ageability of wines (Dubourdieu et al., 1998).

Indigenous wine colloids are still poorly investigated due to lack of routinely implemented methodologies for their identification and characterization and because of the interferences that could occur from exogeneous macromolecular additives that are added to wine for better control of fermentation and clarification steps. Nevertheless, modern analytical tools are nowadays deployed to the scientific community that should show the functional role, particularly in wine ageability, of these wine colloids taking in account the wine molecular composition (Coelho et al., 2017, Roullier-Gall et al., 2017) By analysing wines, several years after storage in a cellar or in the deep sea, interesting archeo messages are revealed by wine (Gougeon et al., 2009, Jeandet et al., 2015, Coelho et al. 2015) revealing oenological practices that were applied during wine production in a specific vintage.

Two recent studies, carried by researchers at Institut Universitaire de la Vigne et du Vin, University of Burgundy (Ballester et al., 2018 and Coelho et al. 2018), estimated the impact of must clarification and the type of bottle closure during two consecutive vintages (2009 and 2010) on Chardonnay white wines organoleptic quality and chemical composition. Outstanding results from an oenological point of view show that the oldest vintage 2009 was more stable during bottle ageing compared to vintage 2010 due to molecular and macromolecular conditions gathered during this vintage, which were directly related to pre-fermentative decisions and bottling conditions. Globally, the low turbidity musts led to higher amount and diversity of the protein fraction and higher concentrations of oxidizable polyphenols such as grape reaction product and tyrosol in Chardonnay dry white wines presenting higher resistance to oxidative deviations. 

The bottle closure, and particularly the synthetic coextruded stopper, was a key indicator of oxidative processes occurring during bottle storage, unlike screw caps preserved wine freshness and fruity/floral character. Even if the antioxidant role of proteins to protect wine oxidizable compounds was not proved, a quantitative proteomic study suggests putative candidates to this preservation action such as low-temperature induced cysteine proteinase-like, an unnamed protein product, basic leucine zipper, W2 domain-containing protein, structural maintenance of chromosomes protein 4 isoform X2 and elongation factor 1-alpha. On the opposite, two grape proteins: a hypothetical protein VITISV 024840 and actin-1 could participate to oxidative reactions during bottle ageing.
These recent encouraging progresses bring new insights to the functionalities that indigenous wine proteins could confer to Burgundian Chardonnay wines with elevated ageing potential.

Christian Coelho studied physical-chemistry at University Blaise Pascal at Clermont Ferrand (France) and environmental chemistry at University Paul Sabatier in Toulouse (France). He did his Ph.D. in 2009 in photochemical processes related to dissolved organic matter optical properties and reactivity and worked between 2011 and 2012 in the fields of UV-absorbing nanomaterials as a research assistant at Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Clermont-Ferrand (France). He joined Professor R. Gougeon team in September 2012 as an Assistant Professor in Oenology at the Institut Universitaire de la Vigne et du Vin - Jules Guyot, where he taught analytical chemistry oenological practices, grape maturity and spirit elaboration process. He is in charge of the first year of Diplome National d’Oenologue since 2017. He also realized two videos for the MOOC Open Wine University 1 and 2 (University of Burgundy) and a webinar for Horiba Scientific Company.
His research activity is focused on novel developments in the application of fluorescence, electron spin resonance and high-resolution mass spectrometry and molecular/macromolecular separations (size exclusion chromatography & flow field-flow fractionation) to determine the molecular and macromolecular compounds that are conferred to spirit and wine during their elaboration, storage and ageing. He also co-supervised a Ph.D in wine microbiology looking at the physical and chemical interactions between Oenococcus Oeni and wood during wine barrel ageing. He is currently supervising a Ph.D on the isolation, purification and fractionation of extracellular polymeric compounds secreted by Lactobacillus Plantarum to determine their functional properties at the wood/wine interface.

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Paetzold M., Dulau L., Dubourdieu D. Fractionnement et caractérisation des glycoproteins dans les moûts de raisin blanc. Journal International des Sciences de la Vigne et du Vin (1990) 24(1): 13-28.
Nunan K., Davies C., Robinson D.P., Fincher G. Expression patterns of cell wall-modifying enzymes during grape berry development. Planta (2001) 214: 257-264.
Simonin S., Alexandre H., Nikolantonaki M., Coelho C., Tourdot-Maréchal R. Inoculation of Torulaspora delbrueckii as a bio-protection agent in winemaking. Food Research International (2018) 107: 451-461.
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Coelho C., Parot J., Gonsior M., Nikolantonaki M., Schmitt-Kopplin, P. Parlanti E., Gougeon, R.D. Asymmetrical flow field-flow fractionation of white wine chromophoric colloidal matter. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry (2017), 409(10), 2757-2766.
Roullier-Gall C., Hemmler D., Gonsior M., Li Y., Nikolantonaki M., Aron A., Coelho C., Gougeon R.D., Schmitt-Kopplin P. Sulfites and the wine metabolome. Food Chemistry (2017) 237, 106–113.
Gougeon R.D., Lucio M., De Boel A., Frommberger M., Hertkorn N., Peyron D., Chassagne D., Feuillat F., Cayot P., Voilley A., Gebefügi I., Schmitt-Kopplin P. Expressing forest origins in the chemical composition of cooperage oak woods and corresponding wines by using FTICRS-MS. Chemistry A European Journal (2009) 15, 600-611.
Jeandet P., Heinzmann S., Roullier-Gall C., Cilindre C., Aron A., Deville M.A., Moritz F., Karbowiak T., Demarville D., Brun C., Moreau F., Michalke B., Liger-Belair G., Witting M., Lucio M., Steyer D., Gougeon R.D., and Schmitt-Kopplin P. (2015) Chemical messages in 170-year-old champagne bottles from the Baltic Sea: Revealing tastes from the past. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (2015) 112(19) 5893-5898.
Coelho C., Aron A., Roullier-Gall C., Gonsior M., Schmitt-Kopplin P., Gougeon R.D. Fluorescence fingerprinting of bottled white wines can reveal memories related to sulfur dioxide treatments of the must. Anaytical Chemistry (2015) 87(16), 8132-81375
Ballester J., Magne M., Julien P., Noret, L, Nikolantonaki M., Coelho C., Gougeon, R.D. Sensory impact of polyphenolic composition on the oxidative notes of Chardonnay wines. Beverages (2018) 4(1), 19.
Coelho C., Julien P., Nikolantonaki M., Noret, L., Magne M., Ballester, J., Gougeon R.D. Molecular and macromolecular changes in bottle-aged white wines reflect oxidative evolution- Impact of must clarification and bottle closure. Frontiers in Chemistry (2018) 6 (95), 1-9.


Posted by in Chemistry, Viticulture