Effect of trellis system on Chenin blanc wine

by | Jan 26, 2021 | South Africa Wine Scan

There are many ways of manipulating the components of grape berries and one of these is the implementation of a specific trellising system. This will affect light exposure in the bunch zone, air flow through the canopy, crop load, etc., and consequently the primary metabolites that contribute to the production of secondary compounds in wine.

Aim & Methods

The aim of the study was to characterise the grape musts and wines of Chenin blanc made from grapes of different trellising systems, using chemical fingerprinting of the samples and the check-all-that-apply method, combined with a quality scoring test.

Chenin blanc, grafted onto 110 R rootstock were planted in a single block in 2010 and trained to six different systems, namely: Santorini, Ballerina, Smart Dyson, T-Frame, Lyre and ‘Stok-by-Paaltjie’, also known as ‘staked vines’ or ‘Echalas’. Each system was planted in a different row and the trial was conducted over two vintages (2017-2018).


The results indicate that, while the wines could not be separated according to treatment from an aroma point of view, the grapes produced by different trellis systems resulted in wines characterised by differences in taste and mouthfeel.

Significance of the study

The present study shows that trellising systems can influence amino acids, yeast assimilable nitrogen, phenolic content and aroma compounds, as well as sensory characteristics. In this case study, wine quality was not affected by the trellising systems, with one exception. Fingerprinting using high-resolution mass spectrometry proved to be a successful tool to separate the samples according to the systems.

Note: This research was not conducted on a large commercial scale, but on a small site with a few vines on each trellis system and no experimental repeats in the trial plot.


V. Panzeri, H.N. Ipinge, A. Buica. Evaluation of South African Chenin Blanc Wines Made From Six Different Trellising Systems Using a Chemical and Sensorial Approach, S. Afr. J. Enol. Vitic., Vol. 41, No. 2, 2020, p133-150. https://doi.org/10.21548/41-2-3889

Image credit (CB): Shutterstock

This abstract is republished in its original form, with headings inserted and experimental plot described in more detail, as permitted by the following Creative Commons license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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