Wine packaging and its impact on flavor

This is a post that summarizes a review of the most commonly available wine packaging categories. This includes glass bottles, polyethylene terephthalate bottles, bag-in-box, aluminum cans, and Tetra Pak. While glass is still the dominant packaging material within the wine industry and by consumer demand, economic and environmental concerns are driving the industry and consumers to investigate and adopt alternative packaging materials.

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How to convert a waste into a high added value product using green extraction technologies?

Food processing has been gradually adopting the use of clean technologies that aim to minimize the generation of by-products. The use of winemaking by-products for the extraction of phenolic compounds is still incipient due to the lack of fast and efficient techniques. Thus, the aim of the study summarized in this post was to use the Microwave Hydrodiffusion and Gravity (MHG) technique to extract phenolic compounds from a winemaking by-product, the grape pomace (GP). The GP had significant antioxidant properties and good yields in operating conditions of 2 W/g. Hydroxybenzoic acid, procyanidins, flavan-3-ols, and one flavanol were the phenolic compounds identified. The CP maintained the physicochemical and antioxidant properties similar to the GP.

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New Climate Normals

The question is “what is normal”? Like many meteorologists and climate scientists, I get asked this question all the time. We typically make statements that describe a certain day, or month, or event, as warmer, colder, more extreme, etc. than average or normal. This is because observing and discussing climate is inherently statistical and requires comparison to baseline periods to make sense of how they relate to our lives. By saying goodbye to 2020 – I think we can all agree it’s more aptly good riddance – we are moving from one decade into another and ushering in a new climate baseline period and new statistics to report from. So, with new climate normal period data being released in many countries worldwide, and the USA last month, I thought it would be worth sharing a little about this process and what it means as we start discussing the “new normal”.

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Photosynthetic acclimation to high temperature in Syrah and Grenache

Photosynthesis acclimation to high temperature differs among and within species. Grapevine intra-specific variation in photosynthetic acclimation to elevated temperature has been scarcely assessed. A study was carried out to (i) evaluate the mechanisms underlying long-term acclimation of photosynthesis to elevated temperature in grapevine, and (ii) determine whether these responses are similar among two varieties. The study provides evidence that grapevine varieties present different acclimation mechanisms to expected warming.

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“Is biodiversity linked with farm management options in vineyard landscapes? A case study combining ecological indicators within a hybrid modelling framework”, Ecological Indicators, 2021

Sustainable management of biodiversity in agricultural landscapes is a European Union objective supported on multifunctional agri-environment measures. The effectiveness of specific practices implemented to reverse declines in farmland biodiversity should be monitored using straightforward methodologies and indicators. This post is about a study which outlined an innovative hybrid framework integrating monitoring, statistics and spatiotemporal modelling procedures to predict the response of biodiversity indicators to farm management options in a viticultural landscape of Portugal, the Demarcated Douro Wine Region.

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Domestication of wild grapevines is still active

Global viticulture has evolved following market trends, causing loss of cultivar diversity and traditional practices. In Montenegro, modern viticulture co-exists with a traditional viticulture that still maintains ancient practices and exploits local cultivars. As a result, this region provides a unique opportunity to explore processes increasing genetic diversity. This post reports the results of a study carried out to evaluate the diversity of Montenegrin grapevines and the processes involved in their diversification. Analyses of genetic structure unveiled several putative proto-varieties, likely representing the first steps involved in the generation of new cultivars or even secondary domestication events.

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Impacts of global warming on southern California’s winegrape climate suitability

Southern California has seen a resurgence of winegrowing regions in the past few decades, however the future of winegrape climatic suitability in the area has not been exhaustively explored. This post reports the results of a study that evaluated the future climate suitability for the cultivation of winegrape and potential global warming impacts on southern California’s winegrowing regions through a series of high-resolution surface air temperature and precipitation projections obtained with the WRF-SSIB regional climate model.

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Sustainability of wine packaging alternatives: What is the consumers’ perception?

The glass bottles used for the packaging of wine, is the main cause of environmental impact of the wine life cycle. Using lighter packaging alternatives (such as bag-in-box, aseptic carton, or PET bottles) significantly decreases that environmental impact. In Italy, there is widespread scepticism towards wine bottled in alternative packaging. This study presents a preliminary survey addressed to a sample of 1000 wine consumers to explore their attitudes and willingness to purchase wine in packaging alternatives that are more sustainable than glass bottles. Read the post to know the results.

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