Know thy enemy: oxygen or storage temperature?

Wessel du Toit; South African Grape and Wine Research Institute, Stellenbosch University (SA)

Know thy enemy: oxygen or storage temperature?

It is well known that high oxygen levels and high ageing temperatures are detrimental to white wine’s composition and ageing capacity. However, these results, though valuable, have often been obtained under extreme temperatures of oxygen levels that wine will normally not be exposed to. Previous work performed have shown that multiple oxygen additions to wine can lead to the degradation of certain important compounds such as varietal thiols and SO2.

However, the interactive effects between oxygen additions normally experienced during bottling and temperatures that wine are exposed to during bottle ageing, have not received sufficient attention, especially in terms of sensorial development of the wine. The main aim of this work was thus to investigate the effects of different oxygen levels at bottling and subsequent bottle ageing temperatures on white wine’s chemical and sensorial development over time.

The wines studied were Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc both produced under relative reductive conditions and then bottled at different levels of total packaged oxygen and closed under screw cap and subsequently stored at either 15 or 25 °C for 6 and 12 months. What differences were noted sensorially? What about the array of compounds (antioxidants, colour, varietal thiols and major volatiles) analyzed?  

Video of the seminar held during Macrowine virtual (June 23-30, 2021)

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Published on 01/19/2022
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