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Identifying best parameters for the evaluation of genotype attitude to retain satisfying grapes malic acid levels at harvest and in final wines

Tommaso Frioni | Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy

Identifying best parameters for the evaluation of genotype attitude to retain satisfying grapes malic acid levels at harvest and in final wines

One of the main challenges that global warming poses to viticulture is the maintenance of adequate acidity at maturity in white grapes destined for sparkling wine production. Today, many wine regions are reviewing their historically cultivated cultivars in search of new, or why not old, varieties capable of maintaining adequate acidity to produce more appreciated wines. However, the criteria for selecting genotypes that perform well in terms of acidity at harvest are complex. Late veraison and ripening may be inadequate characteristics, as they do not necessarily reflect the ability to maintain minimum grape acidity with satisfactory sugars.

In this two-year study, the composition of grapes, musts and wines of a local white grape variety widely grown in the Colli Piacentini area (cv. Ortrugo, ORT) was compared with that of a minor indigenous variety, Barbesino (BRB). Did Ortrugo and Barbesino show similar sugar accumulation dynamics? Which cultivar showed a delayed loss of titratable acidity and which one a significantly higher rate of malic acid degradation (MAdr) from veraison to harvest?

Find out why MAdr can be a misleading parameter in cultivar selection for acidity, and what could represent a new benchmark for acidity phenotyping.

Video excerpt from the presentation given during Enoforum Web Scientists (March 13, 2023)

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Published on 03/20/2024
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