Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Acquirement of viticoltural and enological procedures and methodologies and transmission to other vitivinicultural firms, not directly involved in the project

The procedure to apply in the management of a research work on autochthonous wine grapes in different areas are very complex.

- Selection of autochthonous wine grape varieties and identification of test fields
In each area involved in the project, on the basis of preliminary surveys, literature information and previous experiences of SMEs and RTDs involved, the selection of minor wine grape cultivars, to be investigated from the pool of autochthonous grape varieties, has to be done paying attention to their dimension (able to produce at least 300 kg of grape) and their general situation.

- Protocols definition
It very important to define with attention the experimental protocols, that defined the methodologies to applied in field and in wine making. Partners contribute and agree with them.

- Survey of field
Ampelographic (morphological) descriptions has to be carried out with a common system, images of the major vine organs (shoot, adult leaf and bunch) provided. Such ampelographic documentation is essential for variety identification and is required for including a grape varieties into National Grape Varieties Catalogues.

Survey on phenological phases (bud burst, flowering, veraison and grape ripening), agronomical traits (fertility, vine vigour assessed by winter pruning weight, yield, tolerance or susceptibility to pests and diseases) and grape technological characteristics (bunch and berry weight and features, juice chemical composition) of each selected grapevine variety has to be carried out.

As to the progress in grape ripening, berry samples collected weekly from 1-2 weeks after veraison to vintage and the obtained juice analysed for its sugar and acidic components. When the grapes reach physiological ripening, detailed analyses conducted on their composition, in order to guide the winemaking process completely.

- Winemaking
The winemaking is done separately for every single variety of grapes on small or medium scale. According to the area and the cultivar a quantity of at minimum 300 kg of grapes per variety has to be processed.

Grape of each single cultivar has to be winemaking processed following standardized steps for red wine production: grape crushing and destemming, inoculation with active dry yeast, running-off at complete fermentation, addition of malo-lactic bacteria starter and tartrate stabilization and for white wines production: crushing, juice extraction with pressing, clarification of cooled must, inoculation with active dry yeast, running-off at complete fermentation and tartrate stabilization.

Besides routine chemical tests, that accompany the various phases of the working process, detailed analyses of the composition of finished wines has to be carried out, including phenolic and aromatic compounds.

- Sensory evaluation
Sensory evaluation of wines has to be performed according to two approach methods: the Quantitative Descriptive Analysis (QDA) and the Consumer Test.

- Cooperation between partners
In the phases concerning surveys in the fields and winemaking processes, SME proposers has to be helped by staff from the RTD performers in the same area. The RTD-performers support SME operators by instructing them on the most suitable and correct procedures and methodologies to adopt in order to carry out surveys and analysis of the cultivars in question. The SMEs who take part in the project are learning the use of the most suitable methodologies to improve the quality of their work and their products.

- Coordination meetings
During the coordination meetings experimental protocols has to be discussed and agreed among participants and the administrative aspects has to be clarified to better coordinate the reporting on project progress.

- Exploitation and dissemination activities
Exploitation is an important issue of the project: actions dedicated to the diffusion of the obtained RTD results has to be organized.

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