Grapevine & Wine 15/11/2014

Conventional, organic and biodynamic agricultural and oenological practices in grapeyards

The bio-active compounds present in food and beverages have a high potential influence on the future health of humans. No significant difference was shown among the samples coming from different agricultural and winemaking practices

A study was conducted in an organic vineyard in Bari (South-Eastern Italy) to evaluate copper concentrations in grapes and wines of four local and international varieties (Chardonnay, Primitivo, Uva di Troia and Negroamaro) and to relate these contents to total and available copper concentrations in soil.

Approximately 7.4 kg/ha of copper were used in the trial year. Soil copper availability was higher in the 0–20 cm (10.3%) than in the 20–40 cm layer (4.7%). No copper phytotoxicity was observed on leaves. Copper residues on berries and in wines resulted below the maximum residue levels (MRLs). Concentrations in berries increased with applications number and varied according to the variety. Copper content in the white wine (Chardonnay) was higher with respect to red ones (Primitivo, Uva di Troia and Negroamaro).

Results provided evidence that in the natural conditions typical of a Mediterranean environment, characterised by calcareous soils and a dry climate, the use of copper formulations in vineyards according to European legislation guidelines should not raise any concern with regards to human health.

In another scientific work the levels of biogenic amines, anthocyanins, polyphenols and antioxidant activity were measured in white (Pignoletto) and red (Sangiovese) grape berries and wines from the Emilia-Romagna region (Italy) obtained following conventional, organic and biodynamic agricultural and oenological practices.

No significant difference was shown among the samples coming from different agricultural and winemaking practices.

Biogenic amine amounts were higher in red than in white berries, while in the wines an opposite trend was observed, with histamine, tyramine and putrescine being the most abundant in Pignoletto wines. Red grapes and wines were richer in anthocyanins and showed higher antioxidant activity than white ones. The total level of polyphenols was similar in red and white berries, but with different metabolite profiles depending on the grape variety.

The effects of biodynamic production practices on composition and sensory attributes of Sangiovese wines were examined for 2 years (2009 and 2010) in a vineyard that was converted from organic (ORG) to biodynamic (BDN) viticulture. During the first year (2009), the BDN wines were characterised by low alcohol strength, colour intensity, total polyphenols, monomeric anthocyanins and catechin. Conversely, the second year BDN wines differed from the organic wines in terms of total polyphenols and phenolic compounds, including polymeric pigments, co-pigmentation, tannins and iron-reactive polyphenols. The effect of management practices, harvest and their interaction was analysed for each compound. Positive interaction was observed for total acidity, volatile acidity, cyanidin-3-glucoside, protocatechuic acid, (+)-catechin, quercetin and trans-resveratrol.

ORG wine initially showed a more complex aroma profile; however, the differences were almost indistinguishable during the second year. Trained panellists highlighted differences in colour intensity between ORG and BDN wines although no preference was found by consumers. The concentrations of ochratoxin A and biogenic amines were far below the health-hazardous threshold.


Maria Rosaria Provenzano, Hamid El Bilali, Vito Simeone, Nuray Baser, Donato Mondelli, Gianluigi Cesari, Copper contents in grapes and wines from a Mediterranean organic vineyard, Food Chemistry, Volume 122, Issue 4, 15 October 2010, Pages 1338-1343, ISSN 0308-814

Annalisa Tassoni, Nunzio Tango, Maura Ferri, Comparison of biogenic amine and polyphenol profiles of grape berries and wines obtained following conventional, organic and biodynamic agricultural and oenological practices, Food Chemistry, Volume 139, Issues 1–4, 15 August 2013, Pages 405-413, ISSN 0308-8146

Giuseppina Paola Parpinello, Adamo Domenico Rombolà, Marco Simoni, Andrea Versari, Chemical and sensory characterisation of Sangiovese red wines: Comparison between biodynamic and organic management, Food Chemistry, Volume 167, 15 January 2015, Pages 145-152, ISSN 0308-8146

di R. T.