Smoke impacted wines: evaluation of the impact of different amelioration techniques

Anita Oberholster; Department of Viticulture and Enology, University of California, USA

Smoke impacted wines: evaluation of the impact of different amelioration techniques

The increasing incidences of wildfires in winegrape growing regions pose a significant risk. Persistent exposure to smoke can compromise the quality and value of winegrapes and adversely affect wines made from smoke exposed grapes. A wine is seen as smoke impacted or tainted when there is an overpowering smoky, medicinal, chemical, burnt or ashy aroma on the nose and a distinctive retronasal ash tray-like character in the mouth. The aim of this study was to evaluate the different wine smoke taint treatments available.

The different amelioration techniques that were investigated included enzyme additions with varying pectolytic and glycosidase activities, fining, reverse osmosis and spinning cone technology. The impact on wine composition, specifically smoke taint marker compounds as well as other key volatile and non-volatile compounds important for wine quality were evaluated. 

Which techniques were succesful in decreasing smoke taint markers and smoke taint-related sensory attributes in the smoke impacted wines? Were flavour attributes other then those related to smoke affected?

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Published on 03/21/2022
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