Wine Science in the Omics Era: The Impact of Systems Biology on the Future of Wine Research

  • D. Rossouw Rossouw Institute for Wine Biotechnology, University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, South Africa
  • F.F. Bauer Institute for Wine Biotechnology, University of Stellenbosch, Stellenbosch, South Africa

Abstract

Industrial wine making confronts viticulturalists, wine makers, process engineers and scientists alike with a bewildering
array of independent and semi-independent parameters that can in many cases only be optimized by trial and error.
Furthermore, as most parameters are outside of individual control, predictability and consistency of the end product
remain difficult to achieve. The traditional wine sciences of viticulture and oenology have been accumulating data sets
and generating knowledge and know-how that has resulted in a significant optimization of the vine growing and wine
making processes. However, much of these processes remain based on empirical and even anecdotal evidence, and
only a small part of all the interactions and cause-effect relationships between individual input and output parameters
is scientifically well understood. Indeed, the complexity of the process has prevented a deeper understanding of such
interactions and causal relationships. New technologies and methods in the biological and chemical sciences, combined
with improved tools of multivariate data analysis, open new opportunities to assess the entire vine growing and wine
making process from a more holistic perspective. This review outlines the current efforts to use the tools of systems
biology in particular to better understand complex industrial processes such as wine making.
Published
2016-12-12
Section
Articles