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Tannin in Skins and Seeds of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Pinot noir Berries during Ripening

Abstract

A protein precipitation assay was used to separately monitor tannin concentrations in skins and seeds of three red Vitis vinifera winegrape varieties: Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Pinot noir. In 1998, seeds of Cabernet Sauvignon berries showed highest values before veraison, after which the seed tannin per berry declined and remained fairly constant during the four weeks before harvest. In 1999, the decline in seed tannin was slower but reached nearly the same value by harvest as in 1998. In 1998 and 1999, the skin tannin per berry changed little in Cabernet Sauvignon, and in both years the amount of tannin in skins and in seeds was nearly equal on a per berry basis by harvest. Syrah exhibited a pattern similar to Cabernet Sauvignon except that there was nearly three times as much seed tannin per berry as skin tannin. Results with seeds of Pinot noir in 1998 were problematic because of variation observed among replicate samples. Nevertheless, as with Cabernet Sauvignon, the amounts of tannin in seeds and skins of Pinot noir were practically the same at harvest. In 1999, tannin concentrations were measured in commercial wines made from vineyards that were monitored for tannin concentrations in the fruit. There was no relationship between the total tannin per berry and the amount of tannin in the resulting wine among the three varieties studied. Seed tannin per seed varied only 40% among the three varieties, but seed tannin per berry was different by 235%. Thus, the major factor contributing to the difference in total seed tannin per berry among the three varieties was the number of seeds per berry, rather than the amount of tannin per seed.

Acknowledgments: This research was supported by grants from the American Vineyard Foundation and the Viticulture Consortium. Cooperation provided by Robert Mondavi Winery, Acacia Winery, Saintsbury, and The R. H. Phillips Vineyard is gratefully acknowledged. This research was conducted in the Department of Viticulture & Enology, University of California, Davis.

  • Copyright 2002 by the American Society for Enology and Viticulture

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Berry noir seeds
Greece is generally characterized by warm to hot climate conditions for winegrape production and recent studies have reported increasing trends in summer temperatures leading to more frequent and intense drought events [36] thereby increasing the dependence of viticulture on irrigation. Moreover, there is limited information available concerning the effect of irrigation on the compositional characteristics of grape tannins. According to Ollé et al. [21], mDP values of Shiraz berry tannins remained unaffected by water regime and similar results were reported for Cabernet Sauvignon by Kennedy et al. [30]. Kyraleou et al. [15] investigated the effect of irrigation on the astringency perception of Syrah grape seed and skin extracts in a model solution, by sensory analysis. According to their results, seed and skin extracts of fully irrigated vines were perceived significantly more astringent than those of non-irrigated ones (with the exception of skin extracts of 2012) suggesting that the manipulation of water regime might be a valuable tool for the optimization of red wine sensory properties. The aim of the present work was to extend our previous investigations and to study the effect of irrigation on the compositional properties of tannins located in skins and seeds of Syrah grapes over the whole ripening period, under the typical semiarid climatic conditions of Northern Greece.

Changes in Tannin Composition of Syrah Grape Skins and Seeds during Fruit Ripening under Contrasting Water Conditions

Maria Kyraleou

1 Laboratory of Enology, Department of Food Science and Technology, Agricultural University of Athens, 75 Iera Odos, 11855 Athens, Greece; [email protected] (M.K.); [email protected] (S.K.); [email protected] (Y.K.)

Stamatina Kallithraka

1 Laboratory of Enology, Department of Food Science and Technology, Agricultural University of Athens, 75 Iera Odos, 11855 Athens, Greece; [email protected] (M.K.); [email protected] (S.K.); [email protected] (Y.K.)

Nikolaos Theodorou

2 Laboratory of Viticulture, School of Agriculture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece; [email protected]

Pierre-Louis Teissedre

3 Institut des Sciences de la Vigne et du Vin (ISVV), EA 4577, Œnologie, 210 Chemin de Leysotte, University Bordeaux, 33140 Villenave d’Ornon, France; [email protected]

4 INRA, ISVV, USC 1366 Œnologie, 210 Chemin de Leysotte, 33140 Villenave d’Ornon, France

Yorgos Kotseridis

1 Laboratory of Enology, Department of Food Science and Technology, Agricultural University of Athens, 75 Iera Odos, 11855 Athens, Greece; [email protected] (M.K.); [email protected] (S.K.); [email protected] (Y.K.)

Stefanos Koundouras

2 Laboratory of Viticulture, School of Agriculture, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, 54124 Thessaloniki, Greece; [email protected]

Associated Data

Abstract

Tannin accumulation and composition were determined in skins and seeds isolated from Vitis vinifera cv. Syrah grapes submitted to contrasting water regimes under semiarid climatic conditions. Three irrigation treatments were conducted, starting at berry set through harvest of two growing seasons, 2011 and 2012: irrigation at 100% of crop evapotranspiration ETc (FI), irrigation at 50% of ETc (DI) and non-irrigated (NI). Seed total tannins did not vary with maturity but those of skins underwent a progressive decline (especially in 2011), expressed both on a fresh weight and on a per berry basis. Skin total tannin concentration and content per berry were increased under NI and DI conditions, mainly in 2012. In contrast, seed total tannins (in 2012) and flavan-3-ol monomers and tannin oligomers (both years) were higher in the fully irrigated vines (FI). Skin polymer size increased during ripening, NI and DI skins showing higher mean degree of polymerization (mDP) compared to FI at harvest. NI was also associated with a lower percentage of galloylation (%G) in skin oligomeric fraction (in 2012) and a lower percentage of prodelphinidins in the skin polymeric fraction (both years) at harvest. The mDP and %G of seed extracts did not vary during ripening and were higher in NI but only in 2012. According to the results, management of vine water status was shown to influence tannin amount and composition of Syrah grapes grown under semiarid conditions.

1. Introduction

Among grape phenolic compounds, proanthocyanidins or condensed tannins are responsible for the astringent and bitter properties of the wines and are released from both grape skins and seeds [1,2]. Tannins found in grapesare polymers composed of terminal and extension subunits of flavan-3-ols, mainly(+)-catechin (C), (−)-epicatechin (EC), (−)-epicatechin-3-O-gallate(ECG) and (−)-epigallocatechin (EGC) linked by C(4)-C(6) or C(4)-C(8) interflavanoid bonds [3]. Grape tannins derived from skins and seeds vary in their relative amount, length, subunit composition and sensory properties. Tannin content of the skins is reported to be lower than seeds [1,4]. Seed tannins are also shorter, with a lower mean degree of polymerization (mDP), while skin tannins are generally larger with a higher mDP [1,5]. Seed tannins are usually composed of C, EC and ECG [6] whereas skin tannins also contain EGC as extension subunit and have a lower proportion of ECG [7]. Epicatechin (EC) is the major extension subunit in the skins, while seeds were found to contain similar amounts of C and EC subunits [8].

The intensity of astringency in wine is reported to be related to both berry tannin concentration [9,10] and composition [11,12]. However, the respective contributions of tannin concentration and composition to wine astringency are not clear. Tannin composition exerted a stronger influence on wine astringency than the total amount of phenolic compounds in some studies [13,14], while others demonstrated that astringency was more correlated with grape total phenolic and tannin content than with tannin structural composition [15]. Astringency was also shown to be dependent on the presence of galloyl groups (%G) and prodelphinidins (proanthocyanidins containing gallocatechin or epigallocatechin subunits). %G values correlated positively with perceived astringency in several studies [4,13] while others either report absence of [12,15] or a negative correlation [16]. Concerning prodelphinidins, their presence is reported to be negatively correlated with astringency perception [14,15,16]. Bitterness is more associated with lower molecular weight compounds such as flavan-3-ol monomers and tannin oligomers [17].

Despite the compositional differences between seed and skin tissues, tannins of both origins were found to be equally astringent when tasted at the same concentration in a wine or buffer medium [18]. However, skin tannins commonly have a higher contribution to the polymer composition of the wine due to the increasing extractability of skin cell walls with the progress of ripening [19] compared to the lignified seed coat [20]. Moreover, the bitter and astringent perception of tannins is also affected by their interactions with soluble polysaccharides present in the grape must [7].

Biosynthesis of tannins occurs after anthesis, reaching a maximum at veraison [21]. Downey et al. [8] observed the highest concentration of flavan-3-ols in Shiraz seeds one week post-veraison, with a subsequent decline until maturity, while in skins, the highest concentration was observed before veraison followed by a continuous decrease until complete ripeness. In other studies, skin tannins of three winegrape varieties were found to change little from veraison to harvest [22] but mDP in Shiraz skin was reported to increase with ripening [23].

The accumulation of phenolic compounds in grapes may be influenced by grape variety [24], environmental conditions [25] and viticultural practices [26]. More notably, the influence of irrigation on the accumulation of anthocyanins in grapes (glycosylated pigments responsible for the color of red wine) has been studied by several authors reporting an overall positive impact of mild water deficit, attributed to changes in berry skin-to-pulp ratio [27] or modifications in grape microclimate [28]. In a previous paper, Kyraleouet al. [29] reported significant increases in Syrah berry skin anthocyanins with water limitation in Greece, but observed that differences were maximum 2–3 weeks after veraison and decreased thereafter to reach similar levels at harvest. However, concerning berry tannins, reports on the effects of water availability are fewer and inconsistent. According to previous studies, water deficit is reported to have little direct effect on the accumulation of tannins in berries [30,31]. In other studies, water limitation decreased the amount of seed flavan-3-ols at harvest in Cabernet Sauvignon [32], while, according to Chacón et al. [33], the concentration of flavan-3-ols and tannins in Merlot seeds increased with the magnitude of water deficiency. Genebra et al. [34] found no impact of irrigation on the levels of Tempranillo seed tannins, although several genes of the biosynthetic pathway of flavan-3-ols were up-regulated, while Zarrouk et al. [35] found an increasing trend of skin tannins with irrigation.

Greece is generally characterized by warm to hot climate conditions for winegrape production and recent studies have reported increasing trends in summer temperatures leading to more frequent and intense drought events [36] thereby increasing the dependence of viticulture on irrigation. Moreover, there is limited information available concerning the effect of irrigation on the compositional characteristics of grape tannins. According to Ollé et al. [21], mDP values of Shiraz berry tannins remained unaffected by water regime and similar results were reported for Cabernet Sauvignon by Kennedy et al. [30]. Kyraleou et al. [15] investigated the effect of irrigation on the astringency perception of Syrah grape seed and skin extracts in a model solution, by sensory analysis. According to their results, seed and skin extracts of fully irrigated vines were perceived significantly more astringent than those of non-irrigated ones (with the exception of skin extracts of 2012) suggesting that the manipulation of water regime might be a valuable tool for the optimization of red wine sensory properties. The aim of the present work was to extend our previous investigations and to study the effect of irrigation on the compositional properties of tannins located in skins and seeds of Syrah grapes over the whole ripening period, under the typical semiarid climatic conditions of Northern Greece.

2. Results and Discussion

2.1. Vine Water Status and Growth

Results of irrigation effects on vine water status and growth were reported in detail in a previous work [29] and are summarized in the Table S1. Regarding the two years, the drier 2012 was characterized by a more limiting water status than 2011, leading to higher berry temperatures at midday; 2011 was characterized by overall higher yields and berry size. Predawn water potential (Ψd) was affected by irrigation regime and differences were consistent among irrigation treatments in both years, with more negative values for the non-irrigated vines (NI), intermediate for the deficit-irrigated ones (DI) and higher values for fully irrigated vines (FI). Limited water availability under NI conditions increased midday berry temperature (Tb), possibly due to increased direct exposure of grapes to incident light related to greater canopy porosity [28]. The lower vigor of non-irrigated vines was manifested by the lower winter pruning weights in both years, compared to irrigated treatments. NI vines had lower berry weight at harvest, but no difference was detected for yield per vine. Finally, sugar levels in the grape must were responsive to water conditions only in 2011 when NI plants showed the higher total soluble solids at harvest.

2.2. Total Tannins of Skins and Seeds

Total tannin (TT) concentration and content per berry of the skin and seed extracts for the years 2011 and 2012 are presented in Figure 1 . In general, TT concentration and content per berry of seeds was higher than the skins in agreement with other studies [31,37,38]. Comparing vintages, skin samples harvested in 2011 were richer in TT than 2012, while seed samples presented similar TT between years ( Figure 1 ). Considering tannin seasonal pattern, a decreasing trend during berry ripening was highlighted for skin TT concentration and content in both years (p Figure 1 ). Water deficit may increase phenolic concentration due to its effect on berry size [38] by selectively increasing the absolute mass of skin tissue [39] rather than a direct biosynthetic effect. In 2012, both TT concentration and amount per berry were higher under NI and DI conditions, showing a positive biosynthetic effect of water deficit on skin berry tannin content. A significant negative correlation between predawn water potential (Ψd) measurements (E-L stages 33, 35, 36 and 38) and skin TT at harvest was found in 2012 (Supplemental Table S2) while a similar but insignificant trend was also observed in 2011. For E-L 33 and E-L 36 in 2012, TT concentration was positively correlated at the same time with berry temperature recorded at midday (Table S3). Tb was consistently higher in NI in both years, most probably as a result of the higher light penetration in the cluster zone due to the reduced canopy density as shown by the lower values of pruning weight (Supplemental Table S1) [28].

Seasonal pattern of total tannin (TT) concentration (mg catechin g −1 fresh weight) and content (mg −1 catechin berry) of skins (a) and seeds (b) of Syrah grapes in the three irrigation treatments (FI, 100% of ETc; DI, 50% of ETc and NI, non-irrigated) in 2011 and 2012. Bars indicate ±S.E. of the mean value. Values with different letters within samplings are significantly different (Tukey’s test, p Figure 1 ). This observation was further strengthened by a highly significant positive correlation (Pearson’s correlation coefficient 0.90) between Ψd at veraison and harvest and seed TT at harvest in 2012 (Supplemental Table S2). In previous studies, water regime did not alter seed tannin content in Shiraz [31] while Casassa et al. [38] reported increased levels of seed tannins under both early season and continuous water deficit in Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. The decreased seed TT concentration and content under NI and DI conditions during the late part of 2012 season might also be related to the increased temperature of NI and DI berries (Supplemental Table S1); according to Bonada et al. [31], heating of grapes reduced seed tannins by 20% compared to those under ambient conditions. In the conditions of this experiment, seed TT at harvest was negatively correlated with Tb measured at E-L stages 33 (green berry) and 36 (berries half-ripened) during 2012 (Supplemental Table S3).

2.3. Flavan-3-ol Monomers and Tannin Oligomers of Skins and Seeds

Flavan-3-ol monomers [(+)-catechin (C), (−)-epicatechin (EC), epicatechin-3-O-gallate (ECG), (−)-epigallocatechin (EGC)] and tannin oligomers (procyanidins B1, B2, A2 and C1) were more abundant in berry skins in the organic fractions from 2011 samples than 2012 ( Figure 2 ). However, no consistent pattern could be evidenced in any year for the seasonal evolution of skin flavan-3-ol monomers and tannin oligomers concentration and content, contrary to skin TT ( Figure 1 ). The different pattern during ripening between skin flavan-3-ol monomers and tannin oligomers and TT may be due to the fact that skin tannins mostly consist of polymers, monomers/oligomers representing a small portion of skin TT.

Seasonal pattern of total flavan-3-ol monomers and tannin oligomers concentration (mg catechin g −1 fresh weight) and content (mg −1 catechin berry) of skins (a) and seeds (b) of Syrah grapes in the three irrigation treatments (FI, 100% of ETc; DI, 50% of ETc and NI, non-irrigated) in 2011 and 2012. Bars indicate ±S.E. of the mean value. Values with different letters within samplings are significantly different (Tukey’s test, p Figure 2 ), although NI grapes in 2011 displayed a tendency toward lower values than FI, with a significant positive correlation observed between the concentration of trimer C1 and Ψd (Supplemental Table S2) in 2011. Changes in water conditions can result in modifications in cluster microclimate (i.e., a decrease in water potential can lead to increased berry temperature [28] due to more open canopy in the fruit zone). Accordingly, significant negative trends of EGC, B2, C1 and A2 at harvest with midday Tb were observed in 2011 (Supplemental Table S3) suggesting a decreasing amount of some skin flavan-3-ol monomers and tannin oligomers with the rise in berry temperature, related to water limitation. Increased berry temperatures may be detrimental to flavonoid synthesis, especially under semiarid conditions as reported previously [40].

Regarding seed samples, the concentration of flavan-3-ol monomers and tannin oligomers was higher than in skins in both years ( Figure 2 ). In both years, the concentration of seed flavan-3-ol monomers and tannin oligomers increased initially and then declined until harvest [32,41]. Maximum accumulation was attained earlier in 2011 than in 2012 (except for NI). However, sampling date effect was significant at p Figure 2 ). In 2012, FI and DI seeds contained significantly higher levels of total monomers/oligomers (expressed both as concentration per seed fresh weight and as content per berry) compared to NI, mainly at maximum accumulation point but differences remained significant until harvest ( Figure 2 ), which is in agreement with our results on seed TT ( Figure 1 ). Regarding the trends of individual flavan-3-ol monomers with irrigation, a significant positive correlation with Ψd was observed for seed C concentration, in 2012 (Supplemental Table S2). According to other studies [7,32], seed flavan-3-ol monomers of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot were drastically reduced under minimal water availability. Differences among irrigation treatments in seed flavan-3-ols may be explained by vigour-related changes in canopy microclimate. Grapes in FI were probably less exposed to direct sunlight due to greater canopy size, as could be assumed by their lower midday temperature compared to the NI grapes (Supplemental Table S1). These findingsare in agreement with previous studies reporting a higher amount of seed flavan-3-ol monomers in shaded grapes [43]. However, in the conditions of this study, Tb was not related to the changes in seed phenolic parameters in either year (Supplemental Table S3).

2.4. Composition of Skin and Seed Tannins

2.4.1. Percentage of Galloylation (%G)

Regarding %G values ( Table 1 ), seeds were characterized by higher average values than skins in both oligomers and polymers, in agreement with the findings of other researchers for the varieties Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot [1], Plavac mali, Babić [4] and Aglianico [44]. The oligomeric fractions of both skins and seeds showed statistically higher values of %G than the respective values of polymers. The effect of year was evident only for the seed extracts in both fractions studied, with 2011 samples having higher %G values than the respective 2012 samples (p Table 1 ). A decreasing trend of %G was only observed in seed oligomeric fraction, mostly during ripening of 2011. Bordiga et al. [5] observed a decreasing trend in %G values of the seed fractions in three of the six varieties they studied while Obreque-Slier et al. [33] observed a decrease of %G at ripeness which was however followed by an increase during over-maturity. %G was significantly lower in NI skin oligomeric fraction at harvest in both years, compared to DI and FI, while the opposite occurred for seed oligomers ( Table 1 ) where NI was associated with the higher %G at harvest of 2012.

Table 1

Seasonal evolution of %G of oligomeric and polymeric fractions of skins and seeds of Syrah grapes from the three irrigation treatments (FI, 100% of ETc; DI, 50% of ETc and NI, non-irrigated) in 2011 and 2012.

Seasonal pattern of mDP of oligomeric and polymeric fractions of Syrah grape skins (a) and seeds (b) in the three irrigation treatments (FI, 100% of ETc; DI, 50% of ETc and NI, non-irrigated) in 2011 and 2012. Bars indicate ±S.E. of the mean value. Values with different letters within samplings are significantly different (Tukey’s test, p Figure 3 ). The mDP of skin oligomeric fraction showed a slight decreasing trend during ripening in 2011 (p Figure 3 ) confirming previous studies [5,30,37]. Between veraison and harvest, mDP increased, on average across treatments by 57% in 2011, and it showed a 3-fold increase in 2012. As a result, the polymeric tannins were increased during maturation in skins, while oligomers were decreased (data not shown). Since polymeric compounds are predominant in the skins, ripening process would be expected to be associated with an increase in astringency perception [17]. Regarding the effect of irrigation on the polymerization of Syrah skin tannins, NI and DI were characterized by higher mDP in the polymeric skin fractions while fewer differences among treatments were recorded for the oligomeric fraction, especially at harvest ( Figure 3 ). According to Chira et al. [1], polymeric compounds are increasingly reactive with proteins with increasing mDP, therefore our results suggest a higher astringency potential of Syrah skins under NI conditions.

Seed tannin mDP values were, on average, higher in 2012 than 2011, for both oligomeric and polymeric fractions ( Figure 3 ) and remained approximately constant throughout ripening in both years [41]. Contrary to our results, previous works observed a decreasing trend in seed mDP values during berry ripening phase in different grape varieties [5,32]. The mDP values of the seed tannins did not show any clear dependence on irrigation in 2011 whilst in 2012, NI seeds had a higher mDP than FI and DI ones for both the oligomeric and polymeric fractions ( Figure 3 ).

Regression analysis showed a highly significant power correlation between %G and mDP (Supplemental Figure S1), for both skins (y = 10.96x −1.27 , r = 0.948, p −0.69 , r = 0.921, p 6) presented a lower percentage of galloylation (%G Another feature of tannin composition which is associated with astringency perception is the molar percentage of prodelphinidins (proanthocyanidins containing flavanols with trihydroxylation on the B-ring, namely gallocatechin or epigallocatechin subunits, %P) [14,15,16].

According to our results ( Figure 4 ), NI berries presented a lower %P in skin polymer fraction during the second half of ripening period, with significant differences at harvest with the irrigated treatments (32.9% compared to 38.2% and 37.9% for FI and DI respectively in 2011, and 16.4% compared to 25.1% and 24.8% for FI and DI respectively in 2012). Regression analysis showed a significant quadratic correlation between %P and mDP (Supplemental Figure S2), for skin polymeric fraction (y = −0.062x 2 + 2.061x + 21.38, r = 0.728, p Table 2 and Table 3 show the evolution during ripening of the composition of terminal and extension subunits in polymeric and oligomeric fractions of skin and seed tannins obtained after phloroglucinolysis (C, EC, ECG and EGC). In the skin extracts, EC was the main terminal and extension subunit, accounting in oligomers for over 80% of total subunits at harvest during both growing seasons, while in polymers a substantial amount of EGC (30–40% of total) was also recorded but only as extension subunit ( Table 2 ). Moreover, EC ratio in the total extension subunits of skin polymers tended to increase with the progress of ripening while that of EGC followed an opposite pattern ( Table 2 ). Catechin (C) proportion in skins was Table 2 ).

Table 2

Seasonal evolution of the percentage of terminal and extension subunits in oligomeric and polymeric fractions of Syrah grape skins from the three irrigation treatments (FI, 100% of ETc; DI, 50% of ETc and NI, non-irrigated) for 2011 and 2012. Terminal subunits: Ct, (+)-catechin; ECt, (−)-epicatechin; ECGt, epicatechin-3-O-gallate; extension subunits: %Ce, (+)-catechin; %ECe, (−)-epicatechin; %ECGe, epicatechin-3-O-gallate; %EGCe, (−)-epigallocatechin;nd, not detected.

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