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Does the location of wine cellars have significant impact on the evolution of Madeira wine polyphenols?

Vanda Pereira1,2, Maria J. Carvalho2, Gabriel Pinto2, Rita Fialho2, João M. Gaspar3, 4, Marisela Pontes4, Ana C. Pereira2,5, Francisco Albuquerque4, José C. Marques1,2,3
1 i3N, University of Aveiro – Portugal;
2 ISOPlexis – Sustainable Agriculture and Food Technology Center, University of Madeira – Portugal;
3 Faculty of Exact Sciences and Engineering, University of Madeira – Portugal;
4 Madeira Wine Company, S.A. – Portugal;
5 CIEPQPF, University of Coimbra – Portugal.

Email contact: vpereira[@]


Unlike table wines, Madeira Wine (MW,17-22% ABV) benefits from a long aging period under thermo-oxidative aging conditions, during which it gains its unique and complex flavour. A broad study is ongoing and aims to assess if the differences in the storage conditions impact significantly the evolution of MWs during canteiro aging.

Considering that polyphenols have a significant role in the wine aging, we intended to appraise if there are significant differences in the evolution trends of polyphenols of MWs aging in different cellars under canteiro.

Different MWs were aged into brand-new oak casks in two different wine cellars, one in Funchal (B) and other in Caniçal (Z). Temperature and humidity data were sensor recorded. RP-HPLC-DAD was used to perform the identification and quantification of polyphenols. CIELab parameters were also assessed, using an UV-Vis spectrophotometer. For now, it was only analysed the results of the first 9 months.

Grape-derived polyphenols remained steady in older wines (2008), while are still developing in younger wines. Vanillin and syringaldehyde contents increased in all samples, probably because wine aging is being developed in brand-new oak casks. Malvasia 2008 wines displayed the highest increase in L* and b*. The 2018 wines also revealed an increase in L* and b* values, but still lower than those of 2008. The room temperature and the thermal amplitude are always higher in location B while humidity is always higher in location Z.

Up to 9 months of oak aging it is not noticeable substantial differences between wines polyphenolic profiles, however there are some indications that MWs placed in warmer wine cellars already show signs of greater browning.

Vanda Pereira is thankful to ARDITI for her grant (M1420-09-5369-FSE-000001). FEDER financed this work, project IMPACT III (M1420-01-0247-FEDER-000020).



Pereira, V., Albuquerque, F., Cacho, J., Marques, J.C., Polyphenols, antioxidant potential and color of fortified wines during accelerated ageing: The Madeira Wine case study. Molecules, 18 (2013) 2997-3017.

Published on 06/18/2018
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