NMR Data Challenges Winemaking Wisdom

March 4, 2011

Researchers study the metabolic profile of the Sardinian Vermintino grape using nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR).

A team of researchers from Porto Conte Richerche (Alghero, Italy) has used nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) to study the metabolic profile of the Sardinian Vermintino grape throughout the fruit’s development.

Led by Roberto Anedda, the team followed an unbiased extraction protocol to extract and store seven selections of berries. The metabolite concentrations of the selections were analyzed to determine variability as a function of several factors: the clone, the position of a particular berry within a bunch, and the location of the berry within the vineyard. NMR data revealed that the position of the grape in the bunch had the greatest effect on the metabolic profile of the grape because of its susceptibility to environmental factors. Contrary to winemaking wisdom that suggests selecting an appropriate grape clone is the most important when producing wine, this study demonstrates that grape position has greater significance because clones will experience different environmental stimuli.

The team’s findings were published in the February 9, 2011, issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.