Investigation of Plant Volatiles on Grapes and Wine

Grapes will be exposed to volatiles from plants to investigate if the sensory profile of wine made from those grapes can be improved. The volatiles from forest fire smoke can get into grapes and negatively affect the sensory profile of wines, which is referred to as smoke taint. Grapes are most susceptible to smoke taint during their ripening stage, or veraison. Using this logic, the grapes will be subjected to plant volatiles during veraison. Additionally, grapes exposed to smoke will be compared with those not exposed to smoke by using metabolomics, which is the study of small molecules within cells and tissue. This will help scientists better understand the pathways and interactions of smoke taint compounds in the grapes. The project will require the development of new methods to quantify the terpenes in wine and to better understand the smoke taint compounds.

Alisha Greene
Faculty Supervisor: 
Susan Murch
British Columbia
Partner University: