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The Midwest wine industry has shown a marked increase in growers, hectares planted, wineries, and wine production. This growth coincides with the release of cold-hardy cultivars such as Brianna and Frontenac gris, in 2001 and 2003, respectively. These white grape varieties account for one-third of the total area grown in the state of Iowa. It is generally accepted that the wine aroma profile plays a crucial role in developing a local, sustainable brand. However, the identity of Brianna/Frontenac Gris-based wine aromas and their link to the grape berry chemistry at harvest is unknown. This study aims to preliminarily characterize key odor-active compounds that can influence the aroma profile in wines made from Brianna and Frontenac gris grapes harvested at different stages of ripening. Brianna and Frontenac gris grapes were harvested approximately 7 days apart, starting at 15.4 °Brix (3.09 pH) and 19.5 °Brix (3.00 pH), respectively. Small batch fermentations were made for each time point with all juices adjusted to the same °Brix prior to fermentation. Odor-active compounds were extracted from wine headspace using solid-phase microextraction (SPME) and analyzed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and simultaneous olfactometry (O). Over 30 odor-active compounds were detected. Aromas in Brianna wines developed from “cotton candy” and “floral”, to “banana” and “butterscotch”, then finally to “honey”, “caramel” and an unknown neutral aroma. Frontenac gris wines changed from an unknown neutral aroma to “fruity” and “rose”. Results from the lay audiences’ flavor and aroma descriptors also indicate a shift with harvest date and associated °Brix. To date, this is the first report of wine aromas from Brianna and Frontenac gris by GC-MS-O. Findings from this research support the hypothesis that aroma profiles of Brianna and Frontenac gris wines can be influenced by harvesting the grapes at different stages of ripening.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.