Enology Practice: More methoxy

June 24th, 2005

Ahhh, that beloved methoxy pyrazine. I have been interested in finding studies that follow its changes and responses to winemaking conditions/practices. Thus far success has eluded me as I have been limited to pdfs downlaodable from the web. This article pertains more to the impact of trellis system and sunlight exposure, but they did make small replicate batches of wine while monitoring 3 different methoxy pyrazines. Besides, the viticulture aspect of this report is suspect and the influence of sun on methoxy levels are well documented. The most interesting observation is that IBMP (isobutyl form) levels increase above that measured in the berry within a day or two of being crushed. I have observed increases in bell pepper aromas with Cab. and Merlot after a day or two in tank as well. Two studies were cited in corrboration that I am trying to obtain. The authors hypothesize that as skins and perhaps stems are crushed, levels will increase. Apparently IBMP from seeds, skins, and stems have been shown to pass into the juice. This is not a new idea but hitherto had only been heresay. Perhaps this is additional rationale for good fruit sorting to remove leaves, stems, and ‘jacks’ from your ferment. Anybody heard any ideas for volatilizing off pyrazines to reduce their level in wines?

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