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Environmental influences on grape aroma potential

Robinson, Anthony (2011) Environmental influences on grape aroma potential. PhD thesis, Murdoch University.

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      Abstract

      Understanding the source of wine volatile compounds and the mechanisms that influence their formation through grape growing, winemaking and storage is essential for wine businesses when developing strategies to produce wines with specific sensory attributes that appeal to target markets. The objective of this research was to develop a greater understanding of the environmental influences that drive flavour formation in grapes and translate this information into awareness of the limitations of site and region in producing wines to specification. A novel analytical method was developed utilising headspace solid-phase microextraction (HS-SPME) for the analysis of wine volatiles by comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography (GC × GC) time-of-flight mass spectrometry (TOFMS). The analytical technique was able to resolve and identify a substantially larger number of volatile compounds than current single dimensional GC-MS methodologies. While developing this method it became clear that there was a need to develop a greater understanding of wine matrix effects on SPME-based analyses of volatile compounds found in grape juices and wines of which ethanol and glucose had the greatest effect. Furthermore, the impact of shipping conditions in relation to wine composition and sensory characteristics was investigated to ensure sample integrity across the experiments. The HS-SPME GC × GC-TOFMS methodology was applied in conjunction with descriptive sensory analysis to field studies exploring the effects of site, viticultural management, and winemaking on wine composition and sensory characteristics. This study identified that site was a major influence on Cabernet Sauvignon wine composition and sensory characteristics leading to an extensive study exploring the composition and sensory attributes of a number of commercially produced Cabernet Sauvignon wines from ten wine growing regions of Australia. The results of the studies have enabled the integration of sensory and chemical data Australian Cabernet Sauvignon wines which has revealed potential chemical markers of sensory attributes and compositional characters that are associated with Australian wine regions.

      Publication Type: Thesis (PhD)
      Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
      Supervisor: Trengove, Robert, Boss, Paul and Solomon, Peter
      URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/5832
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