PloS one

How subtle is the "terroir" effect? Chemistry-related signatures of two "climats de Bourgogne".

PMID 24858426


The chemical composition of grape berries is influenced by various environmental conditions often considered to be representative of a "terroir". If grapes from a given terroir are assumed to reflect this origin in their chemical compositions, the corresponding wine should also reflect it. The aim of this work was therefore to reveal the "terroir" expression within the chemodiversity of grapes and related wines, using ultrahigh-resolution mass spectrometry. Grapes and corresponding wines, from two distinct - though very proximate - terroirs of Burgundy were analyzed over three vintages (2010, 2011 and 2012). Ultrahigh-resolution mass spectrometry and ultra-high performance liquid chromatography were used as untargeted and targeted approaches to discriminate complex chemical fingerprints for vintages, classes (wines, skins or musts), and terroirs. Statistical analyses revealed that even if vintages have the most significant impact on fingerprints, the most significant terroir differences are seen in the grapes of a given vintage.