Maria João Cabrita, Raquel Garcia1, Flávia Freitas, Marco Gomes da Silva2
1 Mediterranean Institute for Agriculture (MED), Environment and Development, Departamento de Fitotecnia, Escola de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade de Évora, Portugal
2 LAQV, REQUIMTE, Departamento de Química, Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Portugal

Email contact: mjbc[@]

In Alentejo, south of Portugal there is a traditional way of fermenting wines in clay vessels, known as “Vinhos de Talha”. Clay vessels were traditionally impermeabilized using pine pitch, creating a barrier between the fermenting must and the clay. Due to this unusual production technology that uses of clay vessels, instead of inox or wood vessels, “Vinhos de Talha” present unique characteristics increasingly appreciated by national and international consumers when compared with wine obtained by the said traditional methods of winemaking. Although the positive consumers feedback, there is little literature about the physical-chemical characteristics of these wines (Martins et al, 2018; Cabrita et al, 2018).

This work aims to characterize the volatile composition of white wines produced in clay vessels with different coatings and to contribute to the knowledge and preservation of these wines that are a unique cultural heritage.

Wine samples were produced during 2019 vintage from white grapes, using the traditional technology associated to these wines. The clay vessels used have different coatings: epoxy resin, bee wax, new pitch, old pitch and no coating. Wines were analyzed after the opening of the vessels in November.

Oenological parameters as alcohol, pH, total and volatile acidity, sulphur dioxide, and reducing sugars were measured according to OIV (OIV, 2014)

The volatile composition was analyzed by headspace solid phase microextraction hyphenated with gas chromatography / mass spectrometry (HS-SPME-GC/MS), following a methodology based on Martins et al (2018).

A linear discriminant analysis was performed using IBM SPSS Statistics 20, and as it is a supervised technique where there is the need to assign groups of variables to the data set, we considered the volatile compounds in wines (independent variables), to classify different types of wines (grouping variable), according to the vessel coating.

LDA shows that wines can be discriminated according to different clay vessels impermeabilization materials, being the most similar the ones from clay vessels with no coating and the ones from clay vessels with old pitch.


Nuno Martins, Raquel Garcia, Davide Mendes, Ana Maria Costa Freitas, Marco Gomes da Silva, Maria João Cabrita (2018). An ancient winemaking technology: Exploring the volatile composition of amphora wines. LWT – Food Science and Technology 96 288–295.

Maria João Cabrita, Nuno Martins, Pedro Barrulas, Raquel Garcia, Cristina Barrocas Dias, Eva P. Pérez-Álvarez, Ana Maria Costa Freitas, Teresa Garde-Cerdán (2018). Multi-element composition of red, white and palhete amphora wines from Alentejo by ICPMS. Food Control 92 80-85.

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