Breaking the sugar flavour nexus growing grapes with more flavour and less sugar
As grapes ripen sugar accumulates by translocation into the bunches, while at the same time a range of specialised flavour compounds are produced by metabolic activities within the berries. These processes display a seemingly tightly linked pairing. Recent increases in growing season temperatures, and winemakers’ preferences for reduced concentrations of the aroma compounds associated with immature berries, have resulted in wines with undesirably high alcohol levels.
The objective of the proposed research is to identify strategies that will allow grape-growers to produce fruit with high levels of desirable flavour compounds while maintaining concentrations of sugar that will result in moderate levels of alcohol in the finished wine.
This will be achieved by metabolite and enzyme profiling of grapes from a range of sites in Australia and the USA, examining the effects of site and viticultural practices on grapevine and berry metabolism. A detailed understanding of the metabolism behind the apparent linkage of these events will help growers develop practices to maximise flavour production without excessive sugar, and hence alcohol, in wines. Growers and consumers will each benefit through increased quality and alcohol management.
Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your academic background? I was born, raised and educated in Adelaide, South Australia. I completed a PhD at The University of Adelaide in 2012 in the School of Agriculture Food and Wine, whilst employed at the Australian...
The Australian Research Council Training Centre for Innovative Wine Production has won the 2020 Australian Council of Graduate Research award for Excellence in Graduate Research Supervision. The annual awards shine a spotlight on excellence in graduate research...
Could you tell us a bit about yourself and your academic background? I was born in Malaysia and grew up in the Philippines. I completed my BSc and MSc in chemistry from Ateneo, in Davao and Manila, respectively. I then joined the Philippine National Police and was...