Rotundone was recently identified as the compound that imparts the black pepper aroma in several winegrape cultivars. This two-year study aimed to identify the presence of rotundone in Noiret (interspecific hybrid of Vitis) and to determine the impact of fruit-zone leaf removal on rotundone concentrations in fruit and wine. The relationship between the intensity of black pepper aroma and rotundone concentration in Noiret wine was also explored. An undefoliated control (CON) was compared to a maintained fruit-zone sunlight exposure (MSE) treatment, where leaves were periodically removed from the fruit-zone. The influence of timing of fruit-zone leaf removal was assessed in a separate experiment by comparing preveraison leaf removal (LR) and postveraison leaf removal (PVLR) treatments. MSE vines had greater fruit-zone sunlight exposure compared to the CON throughout the season in 2015, both at the pre- and postveraison stages, but in 2014, only after veraison. PVLR increased fruit-zone sunlight exposure during ripening compared to LR in 2015 only. Rotundone could not be quantified in Noiret berries sampled before or at veraison (limit of quantitation = 0.16 µg/kg). Rotundone concentrations in harvested fruit and wines did not differ between treatments in 2014, but were significantly higher in MSE than in CON in 2015 (1.98 versus 1.28 µg/kg). PVLR temporarily increased rotundone concentration compared to LR, but differences disappeared by harvest. Black pepper aroma intensity, as determined by a sensory panel, was positively correlated (p = 0.023, r = 0.791) with rotundone concentration in wines made from imposed viticulture treatments, providing evidence that black pepper notes in Noiret are positively related to concentration of rotundone in the wine.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science