Influences of the harvest season on analytical characteristics of syrah grapes and wines produced in the northeast region of Brazil
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The present study evaluated the main physical and chemical characteristics of Syrah grapes, coming from the tropical region of São Francisco river valley, harvested at different times and their relationship with analytical characteristics of resulting wines. Grapes came from the first half of 2009 harvest, collected at Casa Nova - Bahia, a semi-arid and hot region, comprising an interval from 84 days after pruning (84 dap) to the beginning of grape over-ripening, 133 days after pruning (133 dap). Harvests at 84, 91, 98, 105, 112, 119, 126 and 133 dap, were analyzed for pH, soluble solids and acidity in grapes, which were then processed for wine production. Maximum sugar/acidity ratio (s/a = 56) were observed in grapes harvested between 126 and 133 dap, coincided with the highest concentration of anthocyanins (851 mg L-1 ) and total tannins (2.6 g L-1 ) in the resulting wines, indicating that grapes collected between 126 and 133 dap showed the best potential for winemaking in the tropical climate of São Francisco river valley. This result was confirmed by the analytical characterization of wines, that, between 126 and 133 dap, showed 12.8% alcohol, 31 g L-1 dry extract, 5.6 g L-1 ashes and a TPI of 58, using only one pumping per day, for 5 days maceration. Syrah grapes considered in the present work presented a good evolution of maturation, and grapes harvested between 126 and 133 days after pruning, showed the best oenological potential for the development of red wine. The use of pH and soluble solids appeared useful parameters in the estimation of maturation degree and quality potential of grapes for winemaking.