Improve the wine shelf-life – the WISHELI project at ENOFORUM congress

The WISHELI project at ENOFORUM: what are the market requests for a white wine? how to predict and improve the shelf life of the white wines?

The WISHELI project (funded under measure 16 – undermeasure 16.1 by Umbrian Region Rural Development Plan) “Development of new production technics for the Umbrian wines shelf-life improvement”, is aiming to significatively improve the wine production quality by working on critical issues raised by producers and stakeholders on the shelf-life of young wines.

During the ENOFORUM congress on Thursday 23rd of may (www.enoforum.eu), we will go through the market requests about white wines and the associated technical consequences with Nicola Biasi for Famiglia Cotarella and we will talk about the analytical methods field innovations with Stefano Ferrari and Francesca Borghini from ISVEA lab and Andrea Bellincontro, from the Department for Innovation in Biological, Agro-food and Forest System (DIBAF)- La Tuscia University.

What is market asking to white wines today?

Today’s market is more and more prepared. Not only the buyers, importers and all the professionals of the wine chain have more experience, knowledge and better wine tasting skills but also the final consumer.

The consumer studies, gathers information, knows wine and fairly, pretends. He is looking for wines able to represent a particular grape variety and always more often a particular territory. Therefore, and particularly in white wines, it is important to maintain the peculiarities of grape varieties, territories and production year on the aromatic and gustative level. Those characteristics can be preserved only by avoiding the oxidation that would make uniform the wines on a low typicity level, even though the wines were very different before oxidation. This is the reason why the WISHELI project has set itself the objective to find solutions to Italian white wines decay after bottling.

An assessment of the chemical-sensorial profile of 13 commercial wines that were submitted to accelerated aging trials through storage at different temperatures (13, 23, 35°C and 45°C) and for different times (until 180 days), in climatic chambers, has been performed. The treated wines were submitted to chemical analysis (using standard methods) of the volatiles fractions metabolites (VOCs) and phenolic profiles and parallelly using non-destructive methods (NIR-AOTF e electronical nose).

The obtained data were analyzed using multifactorial statistical elaboration in order to find markers that could feature the wines chemical-sensorial evolution and that could be potential indicators of the chemical mechanisms involved the shelf-life reduction of young wines. The developed idea is to give the opportunity to wine production technicians to use a predictive model to simulate wine evolution over time and to be able to predict its life potential, possibly using non-destructive, user friendly and fast methods.