Soave has always been one of the most active in the scientific research of aspect, soil and climate and its impact on the response of Garganega. There is certainty that there is not a single Soave but a plurality of expressions among the newly appointed 33 additional geographic units. The delimitation of prized production areas and more stringent specifications aim to enhance the uniqueness of each cru production.
This premise is the basis for a new and innovative research project launched by Soave in collaboration with Prof. Luigi Bavaresco’s team at the University of Piacenza. The scope of the research of “personalization” is to identify the metabolomic characterization of a significant sampling of Soave “cru” wines.
The study was then completed with a sensorial analysis carried out by Luigi Odello, at the Centro Studi Assaggiatori (center for tasting studies) in Brescia.
WHAT IS A METABOLOMIC PROFILE?
Metabolomics is the study of metabolites, small molecule substrates, and the chemical footprint left by specific cellular processes. It can be applied to various disciplines from medicine to oenology and serves to thoroughly analyze all the molecular components of living matter. In the world of wine it is particularly useful for the analysis of the polyphenolic and aromatic compounds that make up the sensorial profile of a wine. In fact, the metabolomic profile, from a complete analysis of a set of metabolites, is usually accompanied by a sensory profile as a validation of the chemical analysis. Together there is a better understanding of the complex relationships that form the concept of terroir.
METABOLOMICS IN THE CRUS OF THE SOAVE
6 wines from 6 different crus located from east to west of the denomination were taken into consideration. Polyphenols, aromatic precursors and some free aromas were the main objects of analysis. The results confirmed a strong differentiation between the 6 crus. The common characteristics depended on the soil of origin (limestone or volcanic) of the grapes. The researchers were surprised to discover polyphenols that have never been registered in international databases. Another feature found in the wines was high percentages of stilbenes, more commonly recognized as a polyphenol like resveratrol, a potent antioxidant which may in part explain the longevity of Soave.
The sensory analysis carried out at the Centro Studi Assaggiatori confirmed the marked differentiation between the six crus from an organoleptic point of view.
“The research of the 33 crus will not end here” – says Aldo Lorenzoni, director of the Soave Consortium – “with the metabolomics analysis we are laying the groundwork to provide even more tools to producers to exalt the unique characteristics of the wines hailing from the Cru vineyards Additional Geographical Units. This research confirms our claim that profound differences exist within a recognizable sensorial profile of Soave. The study will help us understand the relationships between the vine and the environment and communicate Soave within the framework of the 33 new Crus.”