Pedo-climatic conditions affect grape and wine quality and in particular the relation soil-grape quality is at the core of the terroir definition. The study focuses on an aromatic and autochthonous grapevine cultivar grown in the north of the Latium region (Centre of Italy), i.e. cv Aleatico, in a heterogeneous environment (PDO ‘Aleatico di Gradoli’), where five sub-areas have been selected as representative of the environmental variability. The ripening grape parameters, volatile and phenolic compounds in wines derived from the grapes of these growing areas, were analysed to assess the relationship among soil traits, biochemical grape and wine parameters. Pedo-climate analysis was carried out following official protocols for soil texture determination and bioclimatic Thermal Index of Winkler computation. The volatile wines composition and phenolic compound were determinate using the SPME technique gas-chromatographic method and standard method, respectively. Data were evaluated through descriptive statistical methods (ANOVA and Pearson’s Coefficient) and multivariate statistical analysis (PCA and HCA). The results proved that there is a ‘soil effect’ on the grapes and wines’ biochemical composition. The effect of soil on grape ripening parameters was found to be highly significant with regard to total soluble solids and phenols concentration; both exhibited a high correlation to soil’s sand content (%). In particular, soils with a -sandy-loam texture, moderate skeleton content, offer the best wine performance in terms of aroma and phenolic content. The study highlight the importance of the microzonation even in small wine-grape growing areas for better diversified, and therefore more competitive, wine productions. The study enhances the knowledge about the relationship between soil and grapevine aromatic varieties. Data points at identifying biochemical parameters as markers of oenological potential according to geographical origins.
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