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Industry profile and needs: Most southern wineries are small (1000-3000 cases), geographically dispersed over a wide area, and new to the tasks of producing wine and marketing their products to the public. Majority of FL small wineries depend upon tourism and serve as engines for rural economic development. The success of individual wineries in attracting repeat sales and loyal customers depends on the perception of quality and/or lack of flaws in their products.Enology specifics objectives: Modern winemaking practices are based on the European V. vinifera grapes. Compared to vinifera cultivars, the fruit of muscadines and southern cultivars ripen unevenly, contains high acids and low soluble solids, and have a different phenolic profile, unique pigment profile, limited color stability and unique sensory attributes. Using commercial vinifera yeast strains in muscadine grapes vinification may be detrimental to the color stability and retaining the unique spectrum of the bio-active compound of the wines. There is a need of winemaking practice well suited to the unique fruit composition of these grapes. For southern wineries, the key research questions are: what vinification characteristics refer to wines that appeal to consumer palates, and what wine styles will utilize the most, the diverse healthy qualities of southern grapes?Most of the healthy properties in wine are hypothetically related to a series of wine components with thepolyphenol structure (hydroxyl groups on aromatic rings). Substantial quantities of polyphenols are contained in grape skins, seeds, pulps, and musts and undergo extraction during the wine-making process. Their abundance in wine is strongly influenced by the vinification practices applied and the style of the finished product.The main objective of our proposal is to strengthen the wine technological/analytical capacity for southern grapes at FAMU's Center for Viticulture and Small Fruit Research with the purpose to generate new knowledge on the use of NS wine yeast for Florida grapes, to fulfill the basic analytical needs for medium and small-sized farm wineries, hobbyists, and beginners' winemakers in the state, and serve as a technological training platform for young professionals, industry clientele and extension personnel.The specific objectives contributing to the success of the proposal are:a. To utilize the advanced UPLC-TOF-MS analytical technology and generate non-targeted metabolomic profiles of the finished 'Floriana' and 'Noble' cvs. varietal muscadine wines fermented with FL indigenous yeast strains from FAMU research vineyard and commercial strains (CS) yeasts (Zimaflore-RX60, Laffort, Bordeaux, FR).b. To conduct a comparative study of the total bioactive compounds and antioxidant capacity of naturally fermented wines (NS wine yeast) vs. commercially fermented (CS wine yeast).c. To cultivate, isolate, and identify various yeast species found in the spontaneously fermented musts of muscadine grape 'Noble' cv. grown in southern commercial vineyards in FL, LA and TX and establish reference research 'Muscadines Indigenous Wine Yeast Biorepository'.d. To provide research curricula and experiential learning in STEM area (wine metabolomics and bioprocessing) for two minority graduate students at the master level.e. To develop Community of Practice (CoP)" extension publication and website content with FAQs and Q&A information for southern grapes vinification practices.

Tsolova, V. M.; El-Sharkawy, IS.; Humphries, AL, FR.; Darvish, AH.
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