Effect of juice turbidity on fermentative volatile compounds in white wines

  • G. Nicolini
  • S. Moser
  • T. Román
  • E. Mazzi
  • R. Larcher
Keywords: juice, turbidity, wine, aroma compounds, nephelometric units


'Chardonnay' (n = 4), 'Pinot gris' (n = 3) and 'Müller-Thurgau' juices (n = 3), each at 6 turbidity levels (15, 45, 86, 141, 215 and 350 NTU) obtained by adding increasing amounts of their own fine juice lees, were fermented using 'Montrachet Red Star' yeast. The main volatile compounds in free form which may have a sensory role were measured using GC-FID, with a DB-WAX column, after fixing onto Isolute ENV+ resin. Changes for around 40 volatile compounds and fermentation parameters are shown. Juice turbidity levels just below 100 NTU are the best compromise for obtaining adequate fruity notes and minimising languishing fermentation and off-flavours in white wine, if correct microbiology management at the winery is guaranteed, whereas slightly higher NTU levels could contribute to a slightly more complex aroma. However, variability due to juice turbidity in the range investigated is lower than variability due to yeast strain observed in a previous experiment. Thus the choice of yeast strain to direct white wine aroma must be overriding as compared to NTU levels.