Influence of grape rot on the contents of sulfur binding compounds in wine after automated optical grape sorting


  • K. Hausinger
  • M. Lipps
  • H. Raddatz
  • A. Rosch
  • G. Scholten
  • D. Schrenk



acetaldehyde, pyruvic acid, 2-oxoglutaric acid, bound SO2, grape sorting


In the last years, climate change has played an important role in some wine growing regions because of the increasing hazard of different kinds of bunch rot. Botrytis cinerea is the most important kind of rot on grapes. Beside sensory effects, this rot can influence the content of yeast nutrients, e.g. thiamine, in the must and thus affect the alcoholic fermentation. To get insight into the influence of Botrytis cinerea on the content of sulfur binding compounds formed during the fermentation process in wine, tons of grapes from the Mosel valley were sorted by an automated optical grape sorter, an innovative possibility of grape sorting, in 2011. Wine samples before sulfurisation of the four sorting fractions, namely control (unsorted berries), free-run (juice from opened berries), positive (healthy, intact berries) and negative (rotten berries) were analysed for the sulfur-binding compounds acetaldehyde, pyruvic acid, 2-oxoglutaric acid and for bound sulfur dioxide. The results show that acetaldehyde concentrations were not affected by rot, while pyruvic acid and 2-oxoglutaric acid levels were significantly higher in the negative fractions and lower in the positive fractions. Accordingly, bound sulfur levels were significantly higher in wines from the negative fraction. In conclusion, it could be shown that fractionation of the berries can efficiently help to reduce sulfur binding compounds in wine and thus reduce the addition of sulfur dioxide.