Monica PICCHI, Francesco MAIOLI, Valentina CANUTI, Valentina MILLARINI, Paola DOMIZIO, Bruno ZANONI
Department of Agricultural, Food, Environmental, and Forestry Sciences and Technologies – University of Florence, Firenze (Italy)

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The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of the organic, biodynamic and conventional production processes on the typicality of the Chianti DOCG wine and the relation with the environmental impact in terms of CO2 production. Typicality can be defined as a set of properties, described by an intrinsic and perceived quality. Intrinsic quality is the resultant of an eligibility profile, whose parameters are common to all wines (e.g., the sensory attributes and chemical compounds related to acidity, astringency, persistence, alcohol, viscosity, etc.); an identity profile, whose parameters are related to the grape variety and the terroir (aroma and volatile profiles); a style profile related to the brand, expression of the winemaking related choices.

Fourteen commercial Chianti DOCG wines from 2016 harvest were selected based on their production management including organic, biodynamic and conventional. A survey was set up in order to get vineyard and winemaking information from the different estates producing the wines object of the present study. This information was converted in terms of estimated carbon dioxide production, on the basis of existing literature data about Life Cycle Analysis (LCA). Phenolic and volatile compositions, color indices and standard chemical parameters were determined on wines.

Quantitative Descriptive Analysis was applied to define the eligibility, identity, and style properties (the intrinsic quality), while a group of 45 experts evaluated the differences between wines by Napping test and rated their typicality (perceived quality). For the evaluation of the chemical and sensory differences between wines, three global different models were created (conventional, organic and biodynamic) using a Soft Modelling of Class Analogy (SIMCA).

As regard the results of the survey, the organic and biodynamic managements showed the lower level of estimated values of carbon dioxide production. The statistical elaboration of the chemical and sensory data underlined that the different wine estate managements did not yield any systematic differences on the intrinsic and perceived quality, despite there were detected significant differences between wines. Moreover different levels of quality were evidenced inside every kind of management. In particular, the SIMCA model built on the chemical and sensory profiles highlighted that the conventional wine models presented the less variability, as opposed to the biodynamic model that resulted the more variable in terms of intrinsic and perceived quality.

The environmentally friendly production processes, such as organic and biodynamic production, with a low environmental impact, may not have necessarily an effect on the identity and thus on the typicality of wine. The process control represents the critical point for all the three kind of management examined, in order to produce a high quality typical wine.