Exclusion of sunlight from Shiraz grapes alters wine colour, tannin and sensory properties
Renata Ristic, Mark O. Downey, Patrick G. Iland, Keren Bindon, I. Leigh Francis, Markus Herderich and Simon P. Robinson, AGJWR Volume 13, Number 2, 20
The aim of this study was to determine how changes in grape composition brought about by artificial shading (sunlight exclusion) influence wine properties including colour, flavonoid composition and sensory attributes. Prior to flowering, bunches of Shiraz grapes were enclosed in boxes designed to eliminate light without altering bunch temperature and humidity.
This artificial bunch shading had little effect on berry ripening and accumulation of sugar but at harvest the shaded bunches had smaller berries and higher seed weight, juice pH and titratable acidity.
The amount of anthocyanins in the fruit was not changed significantly but anthocyanin composition in the shaded berries was shifted towards dioxygenated anthocyanins (the glucosides of cyanidin and peonidin derivatives). Shaded fruit had increased seed tannins and decreased skin tannins but the largest relative change in flavonoids was a marked decrease in flavonols in the shaded fruit, similar to previous studies.
Wines made from shaded fruit had lower wine colour density, total phenolics, anthocyanins and tannins when the wine was bottled and after ageing for up to three years. Analysis of potential flavour compounds following acid hydrolysis indicated that the wines made from shaded fruit had decreased levels of glycosides of beta-damascenone and 1,1,6-trimethyl-1,2-dihydronaphthalene (TDN). Sensory analysis of the wines indicated no significant difference in aroma attributes but the wines made from shaded fruit were rated lower for astringency, fruit flavour and flavour persistence in-mouth sensory attributes.
The results indicate that extreme shading of Shiraz fruit can decrease wine colour, anthocyanins and tannins as well as altering sensory attributes.
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Published on 10/24/2007