GRAPEVINE CATION AND ANION TRANSFER: A PERSPECTIVE FROM THE SOIL TO WINE CHEMICAL AND SENSORY PROPERTIES

Researcher: Dr A Strever - 10 Jun 2016

Saline conditions have been found to negatively impact the vines’ physiological responses and biochemical pathways, which result in toxicities, deficiencies and various changes in the mineral balances of a vine and may even lead to decreased growth and yields. Wines made with grapes from areas where soils have high salinity levels, tend to have higher salt concentrations. A very fine line exists between the positive aspects associated with higher NaCl concentrations in wine and the negative features, showing a greater need for research delving into the sensorial analysis of specific wines with varying concentrations of NaCl.

The ultimate aim of this project is to consider soil properties, cation and anion content and distribution in the grapevine, as well as it’s concentrations in grapes and wine.  Local and international measurement techniques will be addressed in addition to the management of vineyards and grapes from high salt content (saline/sodic) soils. The potential sensory impact of salts in wine will be assessed from a positive as well as potentially negative perspective and perhaps terms such as “minerality” in wine can be better defined. The project will give a greater insight into the relationship between the soil, the vine and subsequent wine on the uptake of cations and anions.

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