Comparison of consecutive harvests versus blending treatments to produce lower alcohol wines from Cabernet Sauvignon grapes: Impact on polysaccharide and tannin content and composition.Food Chem. 2018 Apr 01; 244:50-59.FC
A changing climate has led to winegrapes being harvested with increased sugar levels and at greater risk of berry shrivel. A suggested easy-to-adopt strategy to manage the associated rising wine alcohol levels is the pre-fermentative substitution of juice with either "green harvest wine" or water. Our study investigates the effects of this approach on Vitis vinifera L. cv. Cabernet Sauvignon wine quality attributes. Wines were also made from fruit collected at consecutive earlier harvest time points to produce wines comparable in alcohol to the substituted wines. Tannin concentrations and colour did not change significantly in the wines with modified alcohol content even at higher juice substitution rates. Differences in polysaccharide and tannin composition indicated variability in extraction dynamics according to substitution rate and type of blending component. In scenarios where berry shrivel is inevitable, the incorporation of water in particular offers much promise as part of a strategy to manage wine alcohol content.