Pinot Noir Volatome

Ms Krishna Packer, Dr Katie Parish-Virtue, A/Prof Bruno Fedrizzi

Auckland University

This is second project based within the research group led by Associate Professor Bruno Fedrizzi.

Similarly to project R.A.3.4, this project also focuses its attention to the elusive nature of aroma in red wines. Wine aroma is sometime thought to be less relevant in red wines, even though evidences in the literature seem to contradict this myth – aroma and its chemistry is of paramount importance in red wine as well as in white wines.

In Pinot noir, the complexity of the matrix and the level of which aroma compounds can play a role in defining the aroma of wine, make studying aroma chemistry very challenging.

If the identification of important aroma compounds is considered challenging, understanding how the wine matrix (pH, SO2, acidity, etc.) conditions aroma repartition (between the liquid and the gas phase) is no walk in the park. Nevertheless, it is an engaging and important aspect of Pinot noir wine that deserves investigating.

This project is interconnected with the other chemistry projects carried out at The University of Auckland as well as those at Lincoln University and builds on the strengths of our lab. In addition, methods developed and techniques acquired form this project can be employed to provide useful information on the experimental wines produced by the wider Pinot noir programme.

The aim of this project is to track the temporal evolution of the volatile fraction of Pinot noir wine aroma. The suite of methods developed will allow us to understand the effect of the matrix on conditioning repartition and volatilisation. Parameters including pH, SO2, and other non-volatile macrocomponents will be considered.

From these analyses a large amount of data will be available for mining and interpretation using a collection of complementary statistical techniques. The interpretation of these results will be disseminated to those involved, from which new directions for the continuous improvement in Pinot noir quality can be evaluated.

This article first appeared in the June/July 2019 issue of New Zealand Winegrower magazine