The effect of deficit irrigation and a kaolin-based, foliar reflectant particle film (PF) on grape composition and volatile compounds in Merlot grapes was investigated over two growing seasons in semi-arid, south-western Idaho.

Vines were provided with differential amounts of water based on their estimated crop evapotranspiration (ETc) throughout berry development, and particle film was applied to half of the vines in each irrigation main plot.

Free and bound volatile compounds in grapes were analyzed using stir bar sorptive extraction–gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (SBSE–GC–MS).

The concentrations of free C6compounds (hexanal, trans-2-hexenal, and 1-hexanol) decreased, and bound terpene alcohols (nerol and geraniol) and C13-norisoprenoids (â-damascenone, 3-hydroxy-â-damascenone, 1,1,6-trimethyl-1,2-dihydronaphthalene, and 3-oxo-á-ionol) increased in berries each year in response to severity of vine water stress.

Concentrations of C13-norisoprenoids and bound forms of nerol and geraniol were positively correlated with their concentrations in the corresponding wines.

Particle film application had minimum effect on free and bound volatile composition in the grapes, and there was no interactive effect between particle film and deficit irrigation. However, particle film application enhanced the total amount of berry anthocyanins.

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