Managing ‘reductive’ aromas in wines

Wine Types
Speaker: Dr Marlize Bekker (The Australian Wine Research Institute)
Webinar recorded: 7 November 2019
Additional resources:

Volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) are known to cause ‘reductive’ aromas in wine, commonly described as ‘rotten egg’ (hydrogen sulfide), ‘putrefaction’ (methanethiol) and ‘rubber’ (ethanethiol). These compounds play important roles in determining wine aroma, consumer preference and the perception of wine quality. Therefore, the management of VSC concentrations in wines, whether from fermentation or ‘other’ origins, is an important consideration for winemakers. The main techniques used for VSC removal are oxidative handling and/or copper fining; however, the effectiveness of these treatments may be temporary, as the compounds can often reappear post-bottling when reductive conditions are re-established. This presentation will summarise the latest research on ‘reductive’ aroma formation in wines and discuss practical remediation strategies to manage these characters.

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