Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: California wine


A changing climate has led to winegrapes being harvested with increased sugar levels and at greater risk of berry shrivel. A suggested easy-to-adopt strategy to manage the associated rising wine alcohol levels is the pre-fermentative substitution of juice with either “green harvest wine” or water. Our study investigates the effects of this approach on Vitis vinifera L. cv. Cabernet Sauvignon wine quality attributes. Wines were also made from fruit collected at consecutive earlier harvest time points to produce wines comparable in alcohol to the substituted wines. Tannin concentrations and colour did not change significantly in the wines with modified alcohol content even at higher juice substitution rates. Differences in polysaccharide and tannin composition indicated variability in extraction dynamics according to substitution rate and type of blending component. In scenarios where berry shrivel is inevitable, the incorporation of water in particular offers much promise as part of a strategy to manage wine alcohol content.

Concepts: Vitis vinifera, Wine, Alcoholic beverage, Grape, Viticulture, Cabernet Sauvignon, Annual growth cycle of grapevines, California wine


The structural characterization of the polysaccharides and in vitro anti-inflammatory properties of Cabernet Franc (WCF), Cabernet Sauvignon (WCS) and Sauvignon Blanc (WSB) wines were studied for the first time in this work. The polysaccharides of wines gave rise to three fractions of polysaccharides, namely (WCF) 0.16%, (WCS) 0.05% and (WSB) 0.02%; the highest one was chosen for isolation of polysaccharides (WCF). It was identified the presence of mannan, formed by a sequence of α-d-Manp (1 → 6)-linked and side chains O-2 substituted for α-d-mannan (1 → 2)-linked; type II arabinogalactan, formed by (1 → 3)-linked β-d-Galp main chain, substituted at O-6 by (1 → 6)-linked β-d-Galp side chains, and nonreducing end-units of arabinose 3-O-substituted; type I rhamnogalacturonan formed by repeating (1 → 4)-α-d-GalpA-(1 → 2)-α-L-Rhap groups; and traces of type II rhamnogalacturonan. The polysaccharide mixture and isolated fractions inhibited the production of inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α and IL-1β) and mediator (NO) in RAW 264.7 cells stimulated with LPS.

Concepts: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Bordeaux wine, Grape varieties, Sauvignon blanc, Bordeaux, Chilean wine, California wine


The leafhopper Empoasca vitis (Göthe) (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae) feeds on veins of grapevine leaves, mainly on the phloem, causing physiological injury, color change and drying of leaf margins, yield and sugar content reduction. The relative infestation level (i.e., the probability that a plant is attacked by herbivores) of E. vitis on different grapevine cultivars and their sensitivity (i.e., the incidence of symptoms expression in response to herbivore feeding or other stimuli) to this pest were studied over four years in two vineyards located in northeastern Italy. Some cultivars (e.g., Carménère and Sauvignon Blanc) were usually more infested than others (e.g., Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Gris), although some differences were observed among years and sites. The sensitivity varied among cultivars, i.e., some of them showed more symptoms than expected on the basis of infestation levels (e.g., Carménère and Merlot), in contrast with others (e.g., Rhine Riesling and Chardonnay). Information obtained can be used within the framework of integrated pest management in vineyards. Action thresholds should differ on the basis of sensitivity. Sampling must first be carried out on the most susceptible cultivar and, if the action threshold is exceeded, it should be extended to the remaining cultivars based on their decreasing relative infestation level.

Concepts: Fermentation, Cabernet Sauvignon, Grape varieties, Sauvignon blanc, Chardonnay, California wine, International variety, Pinot gris


Pulsed electric field (PEF) treatment is an emerging technology that is arousing increasing interest in vinification processes for its ability to enhance polyphenol-extraction performance. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of PEF treatment on grape-skin histo-cytological structures and on the organization of skin cell-wall polysaccharides and tannins which, until now, have been little investigated. This study relates to the effects of two PEF treatments on harvested Cabernet Sauvignon berries: PEF1 (medium strength (4 kV/cm); short duration (1 ms)) and PEF2 (low intensity (0.7 kV/cm); longer duration (200 ms)). Histo-cytological observations and study of levels of polysaccharidic fractions and total amounts of tannins allowed us to differentiate between the two treatments. Whereas PEF1 had little effect on the polyphenol structure and the pectic fraction, PEF2 profoundly modified the organization of skin cell-walls. Depending on the PEF parameters, cell-wall structure was differently impacted, providing variable performance in terms of polyphenol extraction and wine quality.

Concepts: Structure, Effects unit, Wine, Tannin, Cabernet Sauvignon, Mathematics in medieval Islam, Chilean wine, California wine


This paper proposes a sequential masking algorithm based on the K-means method that combines RGB and multispectral imagery for discrimination of Cabernet Sauvignon grapevine elements in unstructured natural environments, without placing any screen behind the canopy and without any previous preparation of the vineyard. In this way, image pixels are classified into five clusters corresponding to leaves, stems, branches, fruit and background. A custom-made sensory rig that integrates a CCD camera and a servo-controlled filter wheel has been specially designed and manufactured for the acquisition of images during the experimental stage. The proposed algorithm is extremely simple, efficient, and provides a satisfactory rate of classification success. All these features turn out the proposed algorithm into an appropriate candidate to be employed in numerous tasks of the precision viticulture, such as yield estimation, water and nutrients needs estimation, spraying and harvesting.

Concepts: Vitis vinifera, Viticulture, Cabernet Sauvignon, Digital camera, Pixel, Precision viticulture, Vineyard, California wine


In the Napa Valley of California, vineyards of Cabernet Franc (CF) clone 214, Cabernet Sauvignon clone 337 and Zinfandel clone 1A (Z1A) with grapevines exhibiting foliar symptoms of red blotches, marginal reddening, and red veins, that were accompanied by reduced sugar accumulation in fruits at harvest, were initially suspected to be infected with leafroll-associated viruses. However, reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction tests were negative for all known leafroll-associated viruses, with the exception of Grapevine leafroll-associated virus 2 in Z1A. Metagenomic analysis of cDNA libraries obtained from double-stranded RNA enriched nucleic acid (NA) preparations from bark scrapings of dormant canes on an Illumina platform revealed sequences having distant relationship with members of the family Geminiviridae. Sequencing of products obtained by PCR assays using overlapping primers and rolling circle amplification (RCA) confirmed the presence of a single circular genome of 3,206 nucleotides which was nearly identical to the genome of a recently reported Grapevine cabernet franc-associated virus found in declining grapevines in New York. We propose to call this virus ‘Grapevine red blotch-associated virus’ (GRBaV) to describe its association with grapevine red blotch disease. Primers specific to GRBaV amplified a product of expected size (557 bp) from NA preparations obtained from petioles of several diseased source vines. Chip bud inoculations successfully transmitted GRBaV to test plants of CF, as confirmed by PCR analysis. This is the first report of a DNA virus associated with red blotch disease of grapevines in California.

Concepts: DNA, Gene, Virus, Genome, RNA, Nucleic acid, Cabernet Sauvignon, California wine