Month: June 2019

Advance of grape harvest date of a premium wine in Central Italy: evidence of the role of precipitation intensity under a warming climate

By Francesco Paolo Valentini and Piero Di Carlo

Valentini’s winery has been present in Loreto Aprutino, Abruzzo region in Central Italy, since 1650. Besides the vineyards that cover more than 65 hectares of vine, Valentini produces extra virgin olive oil from a native variety (Dritta di Loreto), it covers 70 hectares of plant while further 115 hectares are devoted to wheat. The winery is famous for producing three types of wine, also obtained from native varieties: white wine from Trebbiano d'Abruzzo grapes and red wine, cerasuolo (rosé) from Montepulciano d'Abruzzo grapes. Vinifications are strictly traditional and artisanal, that means no control of fermentation temperatures, no acidification or deacidification, no addition of concentrated musts, no addition of lactic bacteria and no filtration. Therefore, these traditional techniques are particularly affected by climate change. In the vineyard an anticipation of the sugar maturation of 20/30 days has been observed compared to the vintages of the past, a stop in the phenolic maturation has also been noted, visually detectable with a freeze of the lignification of the grape seeds, which remain green and bitter to the taste. Even the grape pulp tends, in part, to remain tied to the seeds. The coloring matter of grapes (polyphenols) is more deficient and unstable than it used to be. In the cellar fermentation stops, caused by the increase in spontaneous fermentation, have been found. Wines tend to show more difficulties to get clear due to more protein-rich grapes and mild winters. Often the pH of wines tends to rise with the consequent collapse of the total acidity of the wine. Even the organoleptic characteristics have varied and the wines are less bitter, fruitier and more veiled than before. This is because there is no phenolic ripening and the grapes tend to be more "cooked" by the sun and high temperatures. Many more phytopathologies are also found both in the olive trees and the vines, above all a proliferation of insects (many of which are new to these latitudes) due to climate changes


Figure 1. The notebook of the harvest of the year 1898 (on the left), a picture of the Valentini’s Winery (on the left).

Since 1817, the harvest date of grape wine has been noted by the Valentini’s Winery and what is observed is that the date of the beginning of the harvest, and therefore the maturation of the grapes, always fell around the middle of October, for over 140 years (from 1817 and up to 1980), in the last 40 years, instead, there was a constant increase of the advance, with grapes ready to be harvested as early as the end of August (figure 1). Moreover, these dates advance as the temperature increases and, in particular, in the period after 1980, in which a sudden temperature increase was recorded, well mimed by a more marked advance of the harvest date (figure 2).


Figure 2. Time series of the Harvest date of Trebbiano and Montepulciano Grapes and the anomalies of the temperature recorded on average in the North Hemisphere in the period May-Jul.

What has been observed in Abruzzo - about 6 days/°C of advance of the grape harvest date, is observed, on average, also in France, Switzerland and the United States. Vines, as well as plants in general, prefer a constant and moderate supply of water through frequent rains but of moderate intensity. Due to climate change, we observe a steady increase in severe weather events, it is increasingly common to have short but high intensity precipitation phenomena over the course of the year, with the result that the same amount of rain is recorded on annual average, but distributed over a much smaller number of rainy days.
In the study we conducted with Eleonora Aruffo of the University ‘G. d'Annunzio 'of Chieti-Pescara, and William Brune of the Pennsylvania State University (Di Carlo et al., 2019) we identified temperature and intensity of rainfall as the only two parameters capable to justify the observed advance of the maturation, and therefore of the grape harvest date. The grape harvest date advance due to the increase of intensity of precipitation is of about 1.5 days /(mm/rainy days). This result is of notable importance both because it shows that the intensity of the precipitations is an amplifier of the negative effect of the temperature increase, in fact it induces a further advance of the harvest, and because the intensity of the precipitations is constantly increasing. The harvest date, as used in this research, can be a precise indicator of climate change, provided that there is no interference due to irrigation or use of fertilizers that mitigate the effects of climate change. The Valentini’s winery, one of the oldest and most awarded in Italy, respects a strict secular discipline that does not include irrigation or fertilizers and, from 1650, produces wines without changing the traditional techniques handed down from generation to generation. Therefore, the data recorded over the centuries by the Valentini family, allow to face climate studies and indirectly confirm the changes taking place through the use of an independent non-climatic datum.
In summary this work confirms the central role of temperature in inducing changes in vegetation stages, as observed in other parts of the world, but it introduces a novelty regarding precipitation: the increase of the precipitation intensities amplifies the effect of the temperature increase, in a sort of negative feedback that suggests a need to act immediately and decisively to mitigate and adapt to climate change.



Francesco Paolo Valentini is the owner of the “Azienda Agricola Valentini s.s.”, one of the oldest winery in Italy. His Winery is constantly prizewinner: the first one dates back to 1868 when Camillo Valentini was formerly recognized for the quality of his wines, and more recently, just to mention some of them: first classified at the "Best Italian Wine Awards 2012", Oscar for the best white wine in 2005 and Oscar for the best rosé in 2003, 2008 and 2016. Besides the huge awards received as owner of the Valentini’s winery, Francesco Paolo has received several personal awards: 1) Member of the "Georgofili Academy"; 2) Member of the " Associazione Nazionale Carabinieri "; 3) Grand Medal "Can Grande" (Verona 2016); 4) Angelo Betti Award, "Benemeriti viticultura italiana" (Award received from the President of the Italian Republic, Mattarella); 5) " Medaglia Aprutium ", Mention: "For having honored the Land of Abruzzo" (Abruzzo Regional Council); 6) Award: " Il valore dell'eccellenza: l'Abruzzo che non si arrende ", Mention: "For the extraordinary successes achieved in its activity, enhancing the values of Abruzzo" (Abruzzo Regional Council).

Piero Di Carlo is associate professor with tenure of atmospheric sciences and climate change at the University “G. d’Annunzio” of Chieti-Pescara (Italy). He graduated (BS+MD) in Physics summa cum laude. His Ph.D. degree is in Physics with emphasis on atmospheric science from University of L’Aquila, with a year and half of study abroad at the Pennsylvania State University (USA). He developed a TD-LIF system for measurements of NO2 and organic nitrates, installed on-board the UK research aircraft BAe-146, and used in different field campaigns. He was visiting professor at Harvard University, USA (2016), University of York, UK (2014) and at the Tokyo Metropolitan University, Japan (2010). In 2011 and 2017 he was the director of summer schools organized by a EU network of research aircrafts (EUFAR). Since 2016 has been Deputy Coordinator of the PhD program on Earthquake and environmental hazard and director of the Laboratory of physics-chemistry of the atmosphere and climatology at University “G. d’Annunzio” of Chieti-Pescara (Italy).


Di Carlo P., Aruffo E., Brune W.H., Precipitation intensity under a warming climate is threatening some Italian premium wines. Sci Total Environ., 30, 508-513. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.05.449, 2019. ( The Winesider Best Italian Wine Awards.

Posted by in Viticulture

The impact of vineyard agrochemicals against a phytophagous mite and its predator

By Darliane Evangelho Silva, Joseane Moreira do Nascimento and Noeli Juarez Ferla

Wine production occupies an area of more than 80 thousand hectares distributed in six regions in Brazil (Ibravin, 2018). The state of Rio Grande do Sul accounts for approximately 90% of the national production (Ibravin, 2016). The spider mite Panonychus ulmi (Koch) (Tetranychidae) causes damage to grapevines in this region, causing loss of chlorophyll in the sites attacked, browning, and reddish speckling on the adaxial face of leaves and in severe attacks, can cause premature leaf falls (Ferla and Botton, 2008; Moraes and Flechtmann, 2008) or lower photosynthetic activity post-harvest, thus reducing the accumulation of reserves between harvests (Schruft, 1985) (Figure 1).


Figure 1. Damage caused by Panonychus ulmi on vine leaves in vineyards in Southern of Brazil.

Neoseiulus californicus McGregor (Phytoseiidae) is a predatory mite widely distributed worldwide (McMurtry and Croft, 1997) and used in applied biological control programs of tetranychids in grapevines and another crops. This mite is naturally present in grapevines in Brazil, considered tolerant to some insecticides and fungicides (Monteiro, 2002; Escudero and Ferragut, 2005; Liburd et al., 2007; Toldi et al., 2013). Large populations develop in this region in the middle of summer, showing significant correlation with P. ulmi population (Johann and Ferla, 2012).
We performed a study to determine the effects of 13 agrochemicals, frequently used in vineyards, against P. ulmi and N. californicus. Experimental design was completely randomized with 15 replicates/treatment. The evaluations were conducted with uniform-age mites. Foliar discs (5 cm diameter) were cut with a punch and sprayed (0.5 mL) with agrochemicals using a professional SW-775 air-brush (working pressure from 10 to 45 psi), at a distance of 15 cm inside a cabin vertical laminar flow. After spraying, the discs were exposed to the environment on a paper towel for approximately one hour to dry and were placed on a moistened cotton disc inside a Petri dish with 6.5 cm diameter. Thus, P. ulmi females were transferred to the arenas (Figure 2).


Figure 2. DExperimental design tests with agrochemicals with predatory and phytophagous mites.

The effect on P. ulmi females did evaluate in five days, while the evaluation on N. californicus lasted eight days, where dead females were counted and removed daily. Distilled water was used for the control group. The corrected mortality rate and the effect of products on mite reproduction were evaluated and eggs were monitored until larval hatching to evaluate viability. Products were classified according to the total effect caused, in toxicity classes proposed by the IOBC/WPRS Working Group “Pesticides and beneficial organisms”.
Overall, mortality rate increase for all products, mostly after 72 h. Lambda-cyhalothrin caused the highest mortality rate after 24 h, reaching a total mortality at 72 h. Copper hydroxide (23.5%), mancozeb (30.8%), imidacloprid (33.8%), and azoxystrobin (42.6%) caused the lowest mortality rates, whereas the other agrochemicals caused a higher mortality, with emphasis on lambda-cyhalothrin (100%), followed by abamectin (79.4%) and famoxadone + mancozeb (75%). Lambda-cyhalothrin had the highest effect on viability (6.7%), followed by copper sulphate (65.2%). In the presence of the other products, P. ulmi viability was higher than 90% (Table 1).


Table 1. Corrected mortality (%), 24, 48, 72, 96 and 120 h after spraying and viability.

Table 2. Effect of the pesticides on Neoseiulus californicus 196 h after beginning of exposure under laboratory conditions.

The total effect was higher when cymoxanil + mancozeb, tetraconazole, lambda-cyhalothrin, and famoxadone + mancozeb were applied, and a lower effect occurred in the presence of metirame + pyraclostrobin. Approximately 40% proved to be slightly harmful (azoxystrobin, metirame + pyraclostrobin, copper hydroxide, mancozeb, imidacloprid), 30% were moderately harmful (abamectin, copper sulphate + lime, sulphur, tebuconazole), and 30% were harmful (cymoxanil + mancozeb, tetraconazole, lambda-cyhalothrin, famoxadone + mancozeb). Therefore, none of the products evaluated in this study proved to be harmless for N. californicus (Table 2).


The results obtained in this study corroborate the hypothesis that agrochemicals which are frequently applied in vineyards cause a higher mortality rate to the predatory mite N. californicus than that of its prey, P. ulmi. This fact confirms the hypothesis that the use of the pesticides evaluated here benefits the populations of phytophagous mite rather than the populations of its natural enemy, favoring thus pest outbreaks because of predator reduction or extinction. The conditions are more controlled in the laboratory, whereas in the field these products may possibly have their capacity of controlling phytophagous mites diminished, i.e., the effects could be lower in field conditions.
Choosing selective products of the natural enemy and understanding what happens with the phytophagous mites are important tools in maintaining the predatory mite fauna present, thus avoiding the indiscriminate use of agrochemicals. Preventing harmful agrochemicals to predators from being used is an essential tool in the decision-making process when there is the need for controlling organisms that attain pest status. The study is available at



Darliane Evangelho Silva. Graduated in Biological Sciences, Master and PhD in Sciences (Environment and Development) from the University of Vale do Taquari – Univates, Brazil. Currently is a postdoctoral student with a Postdoctoral Junior Scholarship - CNPq, linked to the Postgraduate Program in Environment and Development and the Laboratory of Acarology (Labacari) at the University of Vale do Taquari, develops her research with the impact of agrochemicals on phytophagous mites and predators in vineyards in the South of Brazil.

Joseane Moreira do Nascimento. PhD student and MSc in Biotechnology and graduate in Biological Sciences by University of Vale do Taquari - Univates. Is currently completing the Sandwich PhD abroad with a one-year PDSE CAPES scholarship at the ICVV (Instituto de Ciencias de La Vid e del Vino), Logroño Spain. Has experience in molecular analysis of mites with agricultural importance and its ecology, works with phytophagous mites found in grapevines and also has experience in routines and laboratory analyzes of human molecular diagnostics.

Noeli Juarez Ferla. Graduated in Biological Sciences from the University of Vale do Rio dos Sinos (Unisinos), MSc in Biosciences from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio Grande do Sul (PUC/RS) and PhD in Sciences from the University of São Paulo (ESALQ/USP). Post-doctorate from the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands and Senior Internship at the University of Bari, Italy. Professor of Univates. He has experience in the area of Zoology, with emphasis in Acarology, working mainly in the following subjects: biological control, taxonomy and systematics of mites and ecology of mites of the families Phytoseiidae, Stigmaeidae and Tetranychidae. Member of the Advisory Committee of the Agricultural Sciences area of FAPERGS. Permanent Professor of Postgraduate Programs in Environment and Development (PPGAD) and Biotechnology (PPGBiotec). Coordinates the Postgraduate Program in Sustainable Environmental Systems (PPGSAS).


Escudero, L.A., Ferragut, F., 2005. Life history of predatory mites Neoseiulus californicus and Phytoseiulus persimilis (Acari: Phytoseiidae) on four spider mite species as prey, with special reference to Tetranychus evansi (Acari: Tetranychidae). Biol. control. 32(3), 378-384.

Ferla, N.J., Botton, M., 2008. Ocorrência do ácaro vermelho europeu associado à cultura da videira no Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil. Ciênc. Rural. 38(6), 1758-1761.

Ibravin, Instituto Brasileiro do Vinho (2018). Available in:

Ibravin, Instituto Brasileiro do Vinho (2016). Available in:

Johann, L., Ferla, N.J., 2012. Mite (Acari) population dynamics in grapevines (Vitis vinifera) in two regions of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Int. j. acarol. 38(5): 386-393.

Liburd, O.E., White., J.C., Rhodes, E.M., Browdy., A.A., 2007. The residual and direct effects of reduced-risk and conventional miticides on twospotted spider mites, Tetranychus urticae (Acari: Tetranychidae) and predatory mites Acari:Phytoseiidae). Fla. Entomol. 90(1), 249-257.

McMurtry, J.A., Croft, B.A., 1997. Life-styles of phytoseiid mite and their roles in biological control. Ann Rev Entomol. 42, 291–321.

Monteiro, L.B., 2002. Manejo integrado de pragas em macieira no Rio Grande do Sul. Uso de Neoseiulus californicus para o controle de Panonychus ulmi. Rev. Bras. Frutic. 24 (2), 395-405.

Moraes, G.J., Flechtmann, C.H.W., 2008. Manual de Acarologia: acarologia básica e ácaros de plantas cultivadas no Brasil. Ribeirão Preto: Holos, Editora. pp. 288.

Schruft, G.A. In: Helle. W., Sabelis, M.W., 1985. Spider mites: Their biology, natural enemies and control. Amsterdan. Elsevier. pp. 359-366.
Toldi, M., Ferla, N.J., Dameda, C., Majolo, F., 2013. Biology of Neoseiulus californicus feeding on two-spotted spider mite. Biotemas. 26(2), 105-111.

Posted by in Viticulture

Lasers, nanoparticles and wine: white wine identification with SERS

By Alois Bonifacio

Wine counterfeiting is a problem. How to make sure that the wine inside a labeled bottle truly is that wine? Is there such a thing as a unique wine “signature” or “fingerprint”? Of course there is, each wine is unique in its complexity. It’s just that this unique signature is not easy to get. In fact, a method to get such signature should be accurate, reproducible, but also easy and quick to use, and possibly relatively inexpensive.
We thought that perhaps, an analytical technique such as Surface-Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS) could be used for that purpose. SERS is an optical spectroscopy in which a low-power laser is shone on a sample, and silver or gold nanoparticles are added to the sample as tiny “enhancers”, to boost up the intensity of the scattered light.


By analyzing this light scattered by the sample, one can get information about the chemical composition of the sample. In particular, the chemical species adsorbed on the surface on the metallic nanoparticles will yield an intense spectroscopic signal. When used on chemically complex samples, the spectra obtained can be though as a sort of unique spectroscopic fingerprints. Moreover, the method is particularly attractive, as it is rapid, relatively inexpensive (if compared with gold standards) and using portable instrumentation.

Having the luck of living and working close to a region, the Colli Orientali in Friuli, renowned for its white wines such as Friulano, Ribolla and Sauvingon, we thought that these wines would have been excellent samples to test this approach. In collaboration with dr. Francesco Zanuttin, a biologist and ideator of the study, Giovanni Bigot, a wine expert, and dr. Antonella Calabretti, a food science expert, we published a study in Talanta (volume 203, 2019, pages 99-105) in which we analyzed with SERS nine different white wines from Colli Orientali. In particular, we selected 1 Friulano, 1 Ribolla and 1 Sauvignon from three different producers, to see if the technique was capable to distinguish between the wines produced by wineries only few hundreds of meters apart. Results were rather surprising: SERS spectra from different wines are different from each other, and can be used to identify each wine with a remarkable accuracy (around 90%). We also realized that SERS spectra mainly depends from specific wine constituents such as purines (e.g. adenine) and glutathione, and that wines can be distinguished on the basis of these two components, when taken together. Although this is still a preliminary study, whose results need to be validated on a larger number of samples, it suggests that indeed SERS could be a method used to get a unique “signature” of a wine. Preliminary, unpublished results suggest that the same method could work with red wines as well, but this is still a work in progress.

Those interested in a longer length report can download the working paper at:


SERS spectra for the 9 different wines: Friulano (F), Sauvignon (S) and Ribolla (R) from producers A,B and C. Reproduced with permission.

PCA scores plot for the first two principal component of the spectra, showing how the samples from the same wine cluster together, and can be distinguished from other wines. Reproduced with permission.

Alois Bonifacio, after getting his Ph.D. in Chemistry at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam (The Netherlands) in 2007, landed as a PostDoc at the University of Trieste (Italy), where he is now Associate Professor of Chemistry. Since his Master, he always worked on bioanalytical applications of Raman and SERS, with interests ranging from basic research on CYP enzymes and other hemoproteins, to the Raman imaging of biological tissues and the analysis of biofluids using SERS. He is also interested in nanotechnology, especially from the perspective of nanostructured metal surfaces as SERS substrates, as well as in multivariate analysis of spectroscopic data.

Posted by in Chemistry

Irrigation for modulating Godello wine composition under humid conditions

By José Manuel Mirás-Avalos, Yolanda Bouzas-Cid, Emiliano Trigo-Córdoba, Ignacio Orriols and Elena Falqué

Aroma compounds accumulate in grapes during ripening, although their concentrations depend on temperature and water availability (Robinson et al., 2014), which can be altered by climate change, raising a great concern in viticulture regions worldwide (Fraga et al., 2013). In order to counteract these alterations, irrigation in vineyards is increasing, even in cool-humid regions (Balint & Reynolds, 2017). Recently, the effects of water stress on the amino acid and volatile composition of grapes and wines have been determined on white cultivars (Bouzas-Cid et al., 2018; Vilanova et al., 2019). However, these effects depend on grapevine cultivar, intensity of water stress, irrigation strategy and climate conditions.
The current study aimed at assessing the volatile composition and sensory profile of wines from Vitis vinifera (L.) cultivar Godello under rain-fed (R) and two drip irrigation systems (above, drip irrigation (DI), and under the soil surface, subsurface drip irrigation (SDI)) over three consecutive years (2012-2014) in NW Spain. The treatments were laid out in randomized blocks with four replications, as described by Cancela et al. (2016) in which further information regarding grapevine physiology and vine performance can be found. Irrigation was applied from July to late-August; the average amount of water applied was 1.5 mm day-1. General parameters of musts and wines were determined following official protocols. Amino acid concentrations in musts were determined by high-performance liquid-chromatography, wine volatiles were quantified by gas chromatography (Bouzas-Cid et al., 2018) and a characterization of the sensory attributes of the wines was performed (Mirás-Avalos et al., 2019). Statistical treatment of the data included ANOVA and principal component analysis (PCA).
Grapevine water status over the growing season differed between treatments and years (Figure 1), showing intensities of water stress between low and moderate, explaining the absence of significant differences among treatments in yield and cluster weight (Cancela et al., 2016).


Figure 1. Midday stem water potential over the growing season (2012-2014) for Godello grapevines under rain-fed (R), drip (DI) and subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) treatments. Data are means and standard errors. Horizontal lines indicate the thresholds for absence, weak and moderate water stress.

Overall, irrigation tended to increase must (up to 15% in SDI) and wine total acidity (up to 11% in SDI) when compared to R; however, it did not alter must amino acid concentrations (Mirás-Avalos et al., 2019). Wines from SDI showed the highest total acidity and the lowest pH values (Mirás-Avalos et al., 2019), as common under weak or mild stress (Cancela et al., 2016; Balint and Reynolds, 2017).
Regarding wine volatile composition, irrigation reduced methanol concentration (by 15.5% in SDI) and tended to decrease the concentrations of compounds giving fruity aromas, such as acetaldehyde (by 31% in SDI), isoamyl acetate (by 21% in SDI) and citronellol (by 36% in SDI), when compared to R (Mirás-Avalos et al., 2019). When grouped by families, DI increased the concentration of higher alcohols in 2013 and SDI increased that of short-chained fatty acids in 2014 (Figure 2). Overall, SDI increased higher alcohol concentrations by 7%, while reduced those of acetates and terpenes, by 21% and 14% respectively, when compared to R.



Figure 2. Concentrations of volatile compound families in wines from Godello vines under rain-fed (R), drip (DI) and subsurface drip irrigation (SDI) treatments over the studied period (2012-2014). Data are means and standard errors. Letters indicate significant differences among treatments for a given year.

Sensory analysis revealed slight differences among treatments for aroma descriptors. Wines from R received greater marks for fresh, dry and tropical fruit notes than wines from the irrigated treatments, especially from SDI (Figure 3). Godello wines from irrigated vines were more acidic but showed an aroma complexity similar to that of wines from R. These slight differences were caused by the low intensity of water stress experienced by vines (Cancela et al., 2016; Figure 1).



Figure 3. Aroma descriptors for Godello wines (2012-2014) as a function of rain-fed and irrigation conditions. R = Rain-fed, DI = Drip irrigation, SDI = Subsurface drip irrigation. Asterisks indicate significant differences among treatments.

When applying a PCA to the aroma descriptors and the families of volatile compounds quantified in Godello wines (Figure 4), 66% of the variability in the samples was explained. This analysis separated the wines from each year, but not by treatment (Figure 4). Grouping wines from the same year is consistent with other reports (Vilanova et al., 2019), proving that in-season effects caused by irrigation were less important than weather conditions.



Figure 4.Principal component analysis (PCA) of Godello wines: Biplot for the first two principal components (PC) for aroma descriptors (in upper-case letters) and the families of volatile compounds quantified (in lower-case letters). R = Rain-fed, DI = Drip irrigation, SDI = Subsurface drip irrigation.

Under the climate conditions of Northwest Iberian Peninsula, irrigation had a low incidence on amino acid and volatile composition of Godello musts and wines, because of the weak level of water stress experienced by vines. This study showed that irrigation decreased the concentration of volatile compounds providing fruity aromas, leading to slight differences in wine perception by tasters. These results should be of interest to grape growers, winemakers and other wine professionals.
Those interested in the full-length report can download it at:



José Manuel Mirás-Avalos received, in 2004, his Ph.D. degree in Biology by the Universidade da Coruña (UDC). After a post-doctoral stay in the Avignon Center of the Institute de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA, France), he joined the Station for Viticulture and Enology Research (EVEGA-AGACAL) of the Xunta de Galicia (Spain), where he worked, for more than four years, as a researcher on the effects that agricultural practices may exert on grape yield and wine composition. He followed this line of research in the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC, Spain) for one year. Then, he joined the Department of Irrigation at the Centro de Edafología y Biología Aplicada del Segura (CEBAS-CSIC) in Murcia (Spain), where he is currently working on modelling irrigation and fertigation requirements of different crops.

Yolanda Bouzas-Cid received, in 2017, her Ph.D. degree in Food Science and Technology by the Universidade de Vigo (UVigo). Currently, she is working at the Station for Viticulture and Enology Research (EVEGA-AGACAL) of the Xunta de Galicia (Spain).

Emiliano Trigo-Córdoba is a Technical Agricultural Engineer by the Universidad de Sevilla, an enologist by the Universidad de Cádiz and received, in 2016, his Ph.D. degree in Agronomy by the Universidade de Santiago de Compostela (USC). He has performed research stays in centers from South America (Argentina, Chile and Uruguay), where he supported research on vineyard irrigation. Currently, he is working as a technician in an agricultural cooperative in Sevilla province (South Spain).

Ignacio Orriols received, in 1994, his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry by the Universidade de Santiago de Compostela (USC). He is also an specialist in Viticulture and Enology by the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. He performed post-doctoral stays in France and Italy. From 2003 to 2013, he was the director of the Station for Viticulture and Enology Research (EVEGA-AGACAL) of the Xunta de Galicia (Spain), where he supervised a great number of projects dealing with different topics in the fields of Wine Chemistry and Sensory perception.

Elena Falqué received, in 1998, her Ph.D. degree in Chemistry by the Universidade de Vigo (UVigo). She performed postdoctoral research stays in France and Portugal. Nowadays, she is professor at the Analytical and Food Chemistry Department of the Universidade de Vigo (Campus of Ourense), where she develops several research lines dealing with Wine Chemistry and characterization of the Galician grapevine varieties.


Balint, G.; Reynolds, A.G. 2017. Irrigation level and time of imposition impact vine physiology, yield components, fruit composition and wine quality of Ontario Chardonnay. Sci. Hortic. 214, 252–272.

Bouzas-Cid, Y.; Falqué, E.; Orriols, I.; Mirás-Avalos, J.M. 2018. Effects of irrigation over three years on the amino acid composition of Treixadura (Vitis vinifera L.) musts and wines, and on the aromatic composition and sensory profiles of its wines. Food Chem. 240, 707–716.

Cancela, J.J.; Trigo-Córdoba, E.; Martínez, E.M.; Rey, B.J.; Bouzas-Cid, Y.; Fandiño, M.; Mirás-Avalos, J.M. 2016. Effects of climate variability on irrigation scheduling in white varieties of Vitis vinifera (L.) of NW Spain. Agric. Water Manage. 170, 99–109.

Fraga, H.; Malheiro, A.C.; Moutinho-Pereira, J.; Santos, J.A. 2013. Future scenarios for viticultural zoning in Europe: Ensemble projections and uncertainties. Int. J. Biometeorol. 57, 909–925.

Mirás-Avalos, J.M.; Bouzas-Cid, Y.; Trigo-Córdoba, E.; Orriols, I.; Falqué, E. 2019. Effects of two different irrigation systems on the amino acid concentrations, volatile composition and sensory profiles of Godello musts and wines. Foods 8(4), 135; doi: 10.3390/foods8040135

Robinson, A.L.; Boss, P.K.; Solomon, P.S.; Trengove, R.D.; Heymann, H.; Ebeler, S.E. 2014. Origins of grape and wine aroma. Part 1. Chemical components and viticultural impacts. Am. J. Enol. Vitic. 65, 1–24.

Vilanova, M.; Fandiño, M.; Frutos-Puerto, S.; Cancela, J.J. 2019. Assessment fertigation effects on chemical composition of Vitis vinifera L. cv. Albariño. Food Chem. 278, 636–643.

Posted by in Viticulture

Musical wine glasses

By Bruno Mesz, Juan Cruz Amusategui and Sebastián Tedesco

A number of recent studies have analyzed the influence of music and sound on food or drink evaluation (Spence, C. ,2016). Crossmodal taste-sound congruence has been shown to have a perceptual impact on taste intensity and other qualities such as bitterness or sweetness (Reinoso Carvalho, F., et al. ,2017).

In the case of wine, temporal methods in sensorial analysis have revealed an impact of music on sweetness and sourness of a white wine (Wang et al., 2017).

As multisensorial integration is more likely to occur in conditions of spatial and temporal proximity between the stimuli in different modalities (Chen, L., and Vroomen, J. (2013).), and music and taste are time-varying in nature, it seems interesting to develop technologies that favor these situations of synchronization and co-location, while allowing to keep track of multisensory interactive effects along time.

Augmented glass (Figure 1 and 2): This device consists in a wine glass with sensors that are able to detect three main gestures of the user: when the cup is taken by the hand, airing the wine and when the liquid contacts the mouth while drinking. The sensing is performed through electrodes attached to the surface of the cup, next to the edge, and connected to capacitive sensors. A soundtrack is activated for each gesture, intended to emphasize sweetness, sourness or bitterness of the wine, each soundtrack being congruent to the intended taste according to sound-taste crossmodal correspondences (Mesz et al., 2011).




Figure 1. Augmented glass.



Figure 2. Augmented glass, inside view.



Methods: These glasses are intended as exploratory devices to be used outside the laboratory, for instance at wine bars, or as part of artistic installations. We try to gather evidence for (or against) the conclusions that we draw from formal experiments at the lab, by asking people about the perceived effects of music on wine at informal settings.

So far, we used the glasses in 3 different settings:

1) Piano Bar: We implemented a pilot exploration of the Augmented Glass by making it activate motors and transducers placed in an upright piano (Figure 3) (video: and asking users to drink red and white wine with different sounds (low and high pitched) (Figure 4). From this initial experience we collected some opinions of the users, who in all cases enjoyed the interaction with the glasses: “this sound makes the wine feel like a Rutini [an expensive Argentine red wine], with strong body and expanding taste”, “the low pitched sounds seem to give weight to the wine”, “the pizzicatos [probably referring to the motors bouncing over the strings] bring forward sour fruit notes”. Also, high pitched sounds were judged to be more congruent to white wine, and low-pitched sounds to red wine.



Figure 3. Motors and transducers placed in an upright piano.



Figure 4. Users drinking red and white wine with the device.



2) At the Brain and Wine Symposium in Barcelona (2018): the glasses activated, with each sip, electroacoustic sounds presented over headphones (Figure 5), intended to be congruent with young and aged wines served in the glasses. Natural soundscapes were played when the public grebbed the glasses, while windy sounds were produced by the act of airing the wine. In this event we didn´t ask for specific shifts in taste produced for the music, we just collected general impressions of the people who interacted with the device, who manifested enjoying the experience.



Figure 5. Glasses activating electroacoustic sounds presented over headphones.



3)Recently at an event organized at a wine bar in Buenos Aires for Malbec´s Day (17 April), we presented again the glasses, but now with the sounds emerging from loudspeakers so everyone could listen them. We took care that, at a given time, only sounds congruent to a given taste (sweet, bitter or sour) were present, so there was no "taste mixing" in the music.

People at the event (N=23 participants) reported noticing changes of wine taste depending on the music. All participants at the event except one (N=22) reported intensification of acidity in the wine with high pitched and dissonant sounds, and no effect on sweetness or bitterness. One participant specified that the changes were on taste and not on smell perception. The only participant not reporting effects on acidity reported an effect of music on sweetness perception and no effect on acidity of bitterness.


• Tasting wine while listening to different soundtracks may lead to different perceptions of flavours. This supports our quantitative study on the impact of music on wine taste, presented also in this congress.

• Support for the theory that what we hear can (perhaps automatically) shift our attention to specific taste/flavours that correspond to the sound.

• Support for anecdotal report that changes in auditory stimulus can quickly influence taste evaluation.



BRUNO MESZ: musician and mathematician. As a researcher, he works on sound perception, musical semantics, multisensory perception and mathematical models of musical evolution at the Centro de Investigación en Arte, Materia y Cultura (IIAC) / MUNTREF Centro de Arte y Ciencia of the Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero, Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he directs the projects "Transmodal associations between audition, taste and olfaction" and "Musical Evolution". He is a pianist and clarinetist, specialized in contemporary music. He has played in Argentina, Italy, Germany, Scotland, Finland, Spain and France as a soloist and with several ensembles such as the Ensemble Modern, KNM Berlin, Perceum, among others. He has participated in world and Latin American premieres of works by Steve Reich, Walter Zimmermann, Peter Ablinger, among others.

SEBASTIAN TEDESCO: Visual artist and industrial designer. He researches the relationships between old and new technologies and between art and other disciplines. He is currently Academic Coordinator and Professor of the postgraduate specialization in Conceptual Design at UNTREF (Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero, Buenos Aires, Argentina); Coordinator of the Suspended Borders project at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Mar del Plata, and researcher at the Centro de Investigación en Arte, Materia y Cultura (IIAC) / MUNTREF Centro de Arte y Ciencia of the Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero where he co-directs the project "Transmodal associations between audition, taste and olfaction" together with Bruno Mesz. Since 2013 he exhibits his work in individual and collective exhibitions in Argentina and abroad, highlighting: Itaú Award for Visual Arts / FILE 2015 / Agency for Unrealized Projects, e-flux and Serpentine Gallery / The Wrong New Digital Biennale / TEDx Riodelaplata / #ProgramaLaPlaza 2014, Medialab-Prado / Prize Faena a las Artes, Faena Arts Center / MACBA / PROJECTOR 9no. International Video-art Festival of Madrid / CCK - Kirchner Cultural Center / 3rd Istanbul Design Biennial / MALBA.

JUAN CRUZ AMUSATEGUI: Lives and works in Buenos Aires. He is currently a student of Electronic Arts at the National University of Tres de Febrero, and is a research student of the "Transmodal associations between audition, taste and olfaction" project at the Centro de Investigación en Arte, Materia y Cultura (IIAC) / MUNTREF Centro de Arte y Ciencia of the Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero. He participated in several projects related to arts, technology and software.


Spence, C. (2016). Sound–the forgotten flavour sense. Multisensory Flavor Perception: From Fundamental Neuroscience Through to the Marketplace, 81.
Reinoso Carvalho, F., et al. (2017). “Smooth operator”: Music modulates the perceived creaminess, sweetness, and bitterness of chocolate. Appetite, 108, 383-390.
Wang, Q. J., Mesz, B., & Spence, C. (2017, November). Assessing the impact of music on basic taste perception using time intensity analysis. In Proceedings of the 2nd ACM SIGCHI International Workshop on Multisensory Approaches to Human-Food Interaction (pp. 18-22). ACM.
Chen, L., and Vroomen, J. (2013). Intersensory binding across space and time: a tutorial review. Attention, Perception, and Psychophysics, 75(5), 790-811.
Mesz, B., et al. (2011). The taste of music. Perception, 40(2), 209-219.

Posted by in Enology