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Vine and Wine Innovation through Scientific Exchange

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - vWISE (Vine and Wine Innovation through Scientific Exchange)

Reporting period: 2020-03-01 to 2023-02-28

Composed of recognized Vines and Wine Institutes, Universities and Industries from Europe and outside Europe, the Vine and Wine Innovation through Scientific Exchange (vWISE) project objective is to progress towards key advances in vine sustainability and adaptation to new environmental conditions.

Our project is focused on three main objectives: :
1: Adapting the vines, grapes and wines to climate change with the use of genetic vines resources
2: Safeguarding the wine production against authenticity issues by developing the biodiversity of yeast and bacteria
3: Developing the winemaking innovations for sustainability and safety

The vWISE consortium brings a unique richness, a diversity of scientific specialties and is focused on convergence and synergistic strategies. By using complementary techniques, planning and extending engagement across vine and wine sectors, partners are looking to implement model scales for water use, new vine varieties, and new approaches in microbiology.
For WP1: comparison of biochemical, phenological and productive clones of cv Malbec showing contrasted behavior for traits related to climate change adaptation, allowed the evaluation of the natural genetic variation between a sample of more than 200 Malbec clones. Plant scanning and phenotyping has been done using proximal sensing technologies deployed on an unmanned ground vehicle. The protocols for cell wall composition analysis specific for grape samples have been optimized, to select variants of grapevines adapted to climate change conditions. The genetic analysis of Criolla Chica nº2, a somatic variant of ‘Listán Prieto’ cultivar with agronomic interest to reduce bunch compactness and comparison with a similar phenotype ‘Tempranillo’ variant, has been done, try confirming or discarding the involvement of possible candidate loci and setting the whole-genome sequencing comparison. Use of ABA it turned out as practical tools to produce high quality table grapes in Sicily, a viticulture region affected by climate change, and the study of gene expression profile of the transcription factors, enzymes and two key genes involved in the aromatic pathway. To overcome the effect of climate change, especially on the grape composition, it needs more rational management of water resources and a greater understanding of the effects of heat waves, and the volume of irrigation applied throughout the different phenological phases of the vine plants, its physiological effect and the chemical composition of grapes and wines resulting from such treatments. An analytical protocol for the extraction of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) in grape berries, that are influenced by the vine stress, has been optimized, and tested on cv Sauvignon blanc subjected to two light stress conditions, demonstrating differences in primary and secondary metabolism.

For WP2, a comparative study of lowering alcohol content in a chardonnay production with a sequential fermentation (no saccharomyces + saccharomyces) or adding water at 5 and 10% was realized with composition of key markors inclufing proteins and aroma profile., a sensory analysis has been done and a consumer test is on the way. The correlation will be obtain at the end of this last phase. A deep knowledge of the IR spectroscopy method principle, limitations, comparison with other traditional techniques, and possible new applications useful for wine production was acquired with a transfer of oenological knowledge concerning the wine production. The monitoring of the wine production with robust and sustainable scientific methodologies is improved for grapes and wines. An optimization and validation of an analytical method to profile and quantify PUFAs from grape berry tissues during vineyard experiments subjected to abiotic stresses was performed. In particular an extension of the method to metabolites, such as carotenoids and volatiles markors is on the way. to relate their content to the grape quality. The evolution of grapes subjected to climate heat waves during maturation and elaboration of microvinifications was realized with a focus on grape composition.

For WP3 , The results obtained concerns :
- Setting the sampling protocol for microbiome analysis of selected Argentinian vineyards (ICVV-ULR to UCUYO),
-Analyzing the main metagenomic and metabolomic characteristics of selected yeast strains isolated in Argentina (Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Torulaspora delbrueckii) (UCUYO to ICVV-ULR), -Analyzing the main characteristics of the reduction of ethanol by microbiological and physical methods and their impact on malolactic fermentation (URV to UCHILE 1),
-Winemaking management by pied-de-cuve to maintain native microbiota. Characterization of microbial interaction during pied-de-cuve fermentations. Study of the pied-de-cuve as method for improving the microbial signature and sensory characters in wines (URV to UCHILE 2),
-Through analysis of knowledge transfer between Universities (ICVV-ULR) and commercial companies (Biolaffort) to expand the transferability of strains isolated and characterized by the University to the wine sector,
- Analysis of nitrogen metabolism in yeast and the feasibility to modify yeast to produce compounds of interest (URV to AWRI).
The ambition of the vWISE project is to integrate the different findings and theoretical conceptions on necessary vines and wines innovation to face climate changes. This framework is ideal to show that scientific collaboration across countries and discipline is necessary for excellence research, by contributing to overcome institutional and disciplinary boundaries. Oenologists are focused on technological and microbiological processes, geneticists characterized varietal vines clones selection with resistance to biotic or abiotic stress with North and South Hemispheres differences, wine producers have interest for authenticity for consumers.
The vWISE project will serve the objectives to expand the network of researchers collaborating on the vine and wines datasets of each entity to early stage researchers who could be trained by being included in an excellent collaborative research project. Contacts will be created between the ESR and the experienced ones that will last long after the end of the project. The ESR will gain knowledge and competences to become first class in the field of vines ad wines climate changes solutions.
They will grow with cutting edge methods of data analysis, publication and presentation of results, and will start off their career well integrated in their research community.