In this research, we propose a novel concept for a non-destructive evaluation of volatiles emitted from ripening grapes using solid-phase microextraction (SPME). This concept is novel to both the traditional vinifera grapes and the cold-hardy cultivars. Our sample models are cold-hardy varieties in the upper Midwest for which many of the basic multiyear grape flavor and wine style data is needed. Non-destructive sampling included a use of polyvinyl fluoride (PVF) chambers temporarily enclosing and concentrating volatiles emitted by a whole cluster of grapes on a vine and a modified 2 mL glass vial for a vacuum-assisted sampling of volatiles from a single grape berry. We used SPME for either sampling in the field or headspace of crushed grapes in the lab and followed with analyses on gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). We have shown that it is feasible to detect volatile organic compounds (VOCs) emitted in-vivo from single grape berries (39 compounds) and whole clusters (44 compounds). Over 110 VOCs were released to headspace from crushed berries. Spatial (vineyard location) and temporal variations in VOC profiles were observed for all four cultivars. However, these changes were not consistent by growing season, by location, within cultivars, or by ripening stage when analyzed by multivariate analyses such as principal component analysis (PCA) and hierarchical cluster analyses (HCA). Research into aroma compounds present in cold-hardy cultivars is essential to the continued growth of the wine industry in cold climates and diversification of agriculture in the upper Midwestern area of the U.S.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/somchai_rice/9/