Skip to main content

Sweet, Reinforced and Fortified Wines: Grape Biochemistry, Technology and Vinification

Sweet, Reinforced and Fortified Wines: Grape Biochemistry, Technology and Vinification

Fabio Mencarelli, Pietro Tonutti

ISBN: 978-1-118-56921-4

Apr 2013, Wiley-Blackwell

376 pages



Wines from Grape Dehydration is the first of its kind in the field of grape dehydration - the controlled drying process which produces a special group of wines. 

These types of wine are the most ancient, made in the Mediterranean basin, and are even described in Herodotus. Until few years ago, it was thought that these wines – such as Pedro Ximenez, Tokai, Passito, and Vin Santo – were the result of simple grape drying, because the grapes were left in the sun, or inside greenhouses that had no controls over temperature, relative humidity or ventilation. But Amarone wine, one of the most prized wines in the world, is the first wine in which the drying is a controlled process. This controlled process – grape dehydration – changes the grape at the biochemical level, and involves specialist vine management, postharvest technology and production processes, which are different from the typical wine-making procedure.

After a history of grape dehydration, the book is then divided into two sections; scientific and technical. 

The scientific section approaches the subjects of vineyard management and dehydration technology and how they affect the biochemistry and the quality compounds of grape; as well as vinification practices to preserve primary volatiles compounds and colour of grape.  The technical section is devoted to four main classes of wine: Amarone, Passito, Pedro Ximenez, and Tokai.

The book then covers sweet wines not made by grape dehydration, and the analytical/sensorial characteristics of the wines. A concluding final chapter addresses the market for these special wines. 

This book is intended for wineries and wine makers, wine operators, postharvest specialists, vineyard managers/growers, enology/wine students, agriculture/viticulture faculties and course leaders and food processing scientists

List of Contributors ix

Glossary xiii

Introduction 1
Fabio Mencarelli and Pietro Tonutti


1 Sweet Wines: The Essence of European Civilization 5
Attilio Scienza


2 Management of the Vineyard 29
Osvaldo Failla, Laura Rustioni and Giancarlo Scalabrelli

3 Technology and Management of Postharvest Dehydration 51
Fabio Mencarelli and Andrea Bellincontro

4 Biochemistry and Physiology of Dehydrating Berries 77
Pietro Tonutti and Claudio Bonghi

5 Changes in Volatile Compounds 91
Claudio D’Onofrio

6 Changes in Phenolic Compounds 105
Danilo Corradini and Isabella Nicoletti

7 Changes in Physical and Mechanical Properties of Dehydrating Berries 119
Luca Rolle and Vincenzo Gerbi

8 Management of Vinification and Stabilization to Preserve the Aroma Characteristic of Dehydrated Grape 131
Luigi Moio and Paola Piombino

9 Methods of Vinification to Preserve the Colour in Red Grape PassitiWines. Aleatico: a Case Study 145
Riccardo Cotarella

10 Role of Yeasts in Sweet Wines 153
Juan C. Garc´ýa-Mauricio and Teresa Garc´ýa-Mart´ýnez

11 Botrytis Infection: Grey Mould and Noble Rot 159
Andrea Vannini and Gabriele Chilosi

12 Vinification and Aroma Characteristic of Botrytized Grape 171
Pierre Louis Teissedre and Bernard Don`eche


13 Amarone 189
Daniele Accordini

14 Moscato Passito 205
Daniele Eberle

15 Italian PassitoWines 215
Attilio Scienza

16 Pedro Xim´enez and Malaga 251
Juan J. Moreno-Vigara and Juan C. Garc´ýa-Mauricio

17 Tokaj 269
Zolt´an Ker´enyi

18 Vin de Paille 277
Pierre Louis Teissedre, Bernard Don`eche and Kleopatra Chira

19 Botrytized Wines: Sauternes, German Wines 285
Pierre Louis Teissedre and Bernard Don`eche

20 IceWine 301
Nikolin Musabelliu

21 Port 305
Tim Hogg

22 Marsala 319
Andrea Zanfi and Silvia Mencarelli

23 Notes on Other Sweet Wines 327
Fabio Mencarelli


24 Sweet Wine Market 333
Renzo Cotarella

25 A Strategic Framework for Marketing Sweet, Reinforced and Fortified Wines 337
Alberto Mattiacci and Costanza Nosi

Analytical Index 351

Grapes and Wine Index 355

“With a title like this and a price tag like that, this book is going to appeal to the seriously nerdy, and indeed, the winemakers, vineyard managers, oenology students etc., at whom the briefing document says it is targeted. Keen MW students might be in that list too.” (Wine Wisdom, 16 July 2013)