Rotundone and its role in defining terroir in iconic Australian cool climate ‘peppery’ Shiraz
Improving understanding of how provenance and terroir drive the expression of sought-after and highly valued wine styles will contribute to the continued development of the Australian wine industry. In this regard, it is important to know more about rotundone, the grape-derived ‘peppery’ flavour and aroma compound that is highly sought after in certain cool climate Shiraz wine styles. In a survey of rotundone levels in Australian wines, the highest concentrations were generally recorded in Shiraz produced from the Grampians and Pyrenees regions. The levels of rotundone recorded at the Mt Langi Old Block site were the highest recorded in Australia. The research has demonstrated that rotundone concentrations within this single vineyard are markedly spatially variable and that cooler veraison to harvest periods and a southerly aspect appear to favour rotundone accumulation.
This project seeks to understand the differences in genetic and biophysical factors that may result in large differences in rotundone concentrations at harvest and provide insights into how rotundone levels may be manipulated and managed.
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