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Type: Journal article
Title: Influence of fruit maturity at harvest on the intensity of smoke taint in wine
Author: Ristic, R.
Boss, P.
Wilkinson, K.
Citation: Molecules, 2015; 20(5):8913-8927
Publisher: Molecular Diversity Preservation International
Issue Date: 2015
ISSN: 1420-3049
Statement of
Renata Ristic, Paul K. Boss and Kerry L. Wilkinson
Abstract: Bushfire smoke can affect the composition and sensory properties of grapes and wines, in some cases leading to wines which exhibit undesirable "smoky", "ashy" and "medicinal" characters. This study investigated the extent to which fruit maturity (i.e., ripeness) influences the perception of smoke taint in wine. Two white grape varieties (Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc) and two red grape varieties (Merlot and Shiraz) were exposed to smoke under experimental conditions, at approximately seven days post-veraison. Fruit was then harvested at two levels of maturity: Harvest A, when total soluble solids were 16-20 °Brix, i.e., the berry ripeness typically required for production of sparkling or light-bodied wines; and Harvest B, when total soluble solids were 22-25 °Brix, i.e., the berry ripeness typically required for production of full-bodied wines. The intensity of smoke taint in resulting wines was found to be influenced by fruit maturity, but differed between grape varieties. Smoke-related sensory attributes were apparent in Sauvignon Blanc wine made from early-harvested fruit and in Chardonnay wine made from late-harvested fruit, only; whereas Merlot and Shiraz wines exhibited smoke taint irrespective of fruit maturity. Smoke-derived volatile phenols, and various alcohols, esters and acids, were also quantified to determine the impact of smoke exposure and fruit maturity respectively, on wine composition.
Keywords: berry maturity; descriptive analysis; GC-MS; harvest date; smoke taint; wine
Rights: © 2015 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (
RMID: 0030029273
DOI: 10.3390/molecules20058913
Appears in Collections:Agriculture, Food and Wine publications

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