Yevgeniya, GREBNEVA1,2, Markus HERDERICH1, Doris, RAUHUT2, Eleanor, BILOGREVIC1, Josh, HIXSON1
1 The Australian Wine Research Institute, Australia – 2 Department of Microbiology and Biochemistry, Hochschule Geisenheim University

Email contact: yevgeniya.grebneva[@]

AIM: Sun exposure is needed for balanced grape ripening and sugar accumulation but is also one of the main drivers for a premature Riesling ageing.The aim of this study was to evaluate the modulation of both intensity and quality of light in the vineyard on key Riesling grape and wine parameters as an adaptation strategy to changing climate. Of particular interest was the kerosene aroma caused by the C13‑norisoprenoid TDN and other compounds associated with light-induced grape compositional changes.

METHODS: Over two vintages shade cloth of three different colours was applied to Riesling vines at bunch zone in South Australia. Light measurements and incident light wavelength assessments were performed during grape ripening, and subsequent grapes and wine were analysed for key bound and free aroma compounds. After 1-year of storage, wines were analysed by Quantitative Descriptive Analysis to quantify the holistic changes of light modulation to the sensory profile.

RESULTS: Depending on colour, shade cloth was successful in modulating either the quantity and/or wavelength of light, as well as showed different response of sugar accumulation. Shading reduced TDN concentrations and kerosene aroma in wines, with very little effect on other sensory descriptors. Interestingly, while presumed C13-norisoprenoid precursor profiles were altered between shading treatments, no significant differences were observed in resulting TDN levels. 

CONCLUSIONS: This study highlights the importance of light intensity over examined light wavelength in the vineyard to manipulate TDN. Additionally, light conditions differently affected maturity with possible implications for harvest timing and climate-induced vintage compression.


1Black, C. A., Parker, M., Siebert, T. E., Capone, D. L., & Francis, I. L. (2015). Terpenoids and their role in wine flavour: recent advances. Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research21, 582-600.

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