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  • Juice Index: an integrated Sauvignon blanc grape and wine metabolomics database shows mainly seasonal differences.

Juice Index: an integrated Sauvignon blanc grape and wine metabolomics database shows mainly seasonal differences.

Metabolomics : Official journal of the Metabolomic Society (2019-03-05)
Farhana R Pinu, Sergey Tumanov, Claire Grose, Victoria Raw, Abby Albright, Lily Stuart, Silas G Villas-Boas, Damian Martin, Roger Harker, Marc Greven
ABSTRACT

Although Sauvignon Blanc (SB) grapes are cultivated widely throughout New Zealand, wines from the Marlborough region are most famous for their typical varietal combination of tropical and vegetal aromas. These wines differ in composition from season to season as well as among locations within the region, which makes the continual production of good quality wines challenging. Here, we developed a unique database of New Zealand SB grape juices and wines to develop tools to help winemakers to make blending decisions and assist in the development of new wine styles. About 400 juices were collected from different regions in New Zealand over three harvest seasons (2011-2013), which were then fermented under controlled conditions using a commercial yeast strain Saccharomyces cerevisiae EC1118. Comprehensive metabolite profiling of these juices and wines by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) was combined with their detailed oenological parameters and associated meteorological data. These combined metabolomics data clearly demonstrate that seasonal variation is more prominent than regional difference in both SB grape juices and wines, despite almost universal use of vineyard irrigation to mitigate seasonal rainfall and evapotranspiration differences, Additionally, we identified a group of juice metabolites that play central roles behind these variations, which may represent chemical signatures for juice and wine quality assessment. This database is the first of its kind in the world to be available for the wider scientific community and offers potential as a predictive tool for wine quality and innovation when combined with mathematical modelling.