Rotundone is a key aromatic compound for cool-climate Shiraz. This compound is produced in the skin of grape berries and extracted into wine during fermentation. This project investigated the influence of fermentation techniques on the concentration of rotundone in the resultant wine. Wine was fortified with ethanol and sucrose on the 1st and 5th days of fermentation and rotundone, volatile aroma compounds and colour were assessed in the resultant wine. The relationship between the concentration of rotundone and alcoholic strength during fermentation process was also investigated. Wine alcoholic strength and skin-wine contact time were two factors affecting rotundone extraction rate from grapes into wine. Fortification significantly enhanced rotundone extraction rate, and improved wine colour and phenolics and affects the concentration of ethyl acetate, 3-methylbutyl acetate, ethyl butanoate, ethyl hexanoate, ethyl octanoate, methyl nonanoate, isopentanol and phenylethyl alcohol in the resultant wine. Understanding how ethanol produced during fermentation can change the extraction of skin-bound aroma compounds and the colour and flavour of wine allows greater control of fermentation parameters to produce quality wine.
Zhang, P., Luo, F., & Howell, K. (2017). Fortification and elevated alcohol concentration affect the concentration of rotundone and volatiles in vitis vinifera cv. shiraz wine. Fermentation, 3(3). https://doi.org/10.3390/fermentation3030029