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A metabolomics based approach for understanding the influence of terroir in Vitis Vinifera L.

Reputable Mentor II
Reputable Mentor II
Tarr PT, Dreyer ML, Athanas M, Shahgholi M, Saarloos K, Second TP
Metabolomics (2013) 9:S170–S177
This study aims to understand the contribution of ‘terroir’ during the cultivation of Vitis vinifera L. The concept of terroir stems from the French ideal that a region’s soil and local vineyard topography together with a region’s macroclimate, including the mesoclimate and vine microclimate, together define the unique characteristics of a wine. In this current study we have utilized high performance liquid chromatography combined with a Q Exactive quadrupole OrbitrapTM mass analyzer for the direct injection analysis of Vitis vinifera juice samples sourced from two different vineyards from the Santa Ynez AVA of Santa Barbara county. Analysis of the mass spectral data was facilitated by a differential analysis software program SIEVE 2.0TM. Distinct metabolomic signatures in freshly crushed juice samples were elucidated. Interestingly, important and distinct information was revealed from the analysis of both the positive and negative ion data. Hierarchical clustering indicated the negative ion data displayed similarity based on varietal character while results obtained in the positive ion mode clustered primarily on terroir. This may indicate that more acidic compounds are influenced by varietal character while more basic compounds are influenced by terroir. Using a feature of SIEVE 2.0 a flavonoid database was utilized to search the raw data for flavonoids present in the juice samples. This targeted analysis indicated the flavonoid profile of juice samples appears to be a good indicator of varietal character independent of terroir. The analysis presented in this study suggests distinct Vitis vinifera grape juice chemical signatures are present prior to fermentation. Further analysis will aim to attribute which of these compounds is influenced by varietal character and/or terroir.
California Institute of Technology, Thermo Fisher Scientific
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