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Viticulture & Enology → Enology

Wine Chemistry

Understanding the science of winemaking is of vital importance to producing quality wine. This course is designed to give you an introduction to the chemical components that comprise red and white wines, their relevance to winemaking and how to quantify them. Chemical components that are relevant to monitoring fermentation and wine stability will also be covered, as well as those that have relevance to sensory properties.
The 18 lecture topics include:
Lecture 1 - Basic Chemistry Review: This section will review the basic chemistry and mathematics necessary for the winemaking lab;
Lecture 2 - Evaluation of Data: Understanding data analysis relevant to the wine and grape industry;
Lecture 3 - Sugars I: Importance of sugars in wine production;
Lecture 4 - Sugars II: Measuring sugars in winemaking;
Lecture 5 - Organic Acids I: Primary acids found in wine and their roles in the process and the final product;
Lecture 6 - Organic Acids II: Measuring titratable acidity (TA) and volatile acidity (VA), other organic acids, and pH;
Lecture 7 - Alcohols I: How alcohol is produced and the various effects it has on wine including pH, microbial stability, and sensory characteristics;
Lecture 8 - Alcohols II: Measuring alcohols in wine;
Lecture 9 - Nitrogen I: Introduction to the types and the importance of nitrogenous compounds in winemaking;
Lecture 10 - Nitrogen II: Measuring nitrogen containing compounds in the winemaking lab;
Lecture 11 - Sulfur Dioxide I: The importance of sulfur dioxide to wine and how pH affects the different forms of it in wine, and how it reacts with other wine components;
Lecture 12 - Sulfur Dioxide II: Methods available for measuring sulfur dioxide in wine and the advantages and disadvantages of each;
Lecture 13 - Phenolics I: The various classes of phenolics will be discussed and their importance in winemaking;
Lecture 14 - Phenolics II: Methods available for measuring phenolics in wine and the advantages and disadvantages of each;
Lecture 15 - Polyphenol Oxidase and Acetaldehyde: Importance of polyphenol oxidase (PPO) and acetaldehyde and how they can be indicators of wine faults;
Lecture 16 - Flavor Volatiles: Understanding flavor and aroma volatiles - the good, the bad and the ugly;
Lecture 17 - Inorganic Compounds: Discussion of the various inorganic components found in wine and their relative importance;
Lecture 18 - Potassium Bitartrate Stability: Discussion of potassium bitartrate (KHT) stability, factors influencing tartrate stability and how to measure.
  • Lecture 1: Basic Chemistry Review
  • Lecture 2: Evaluation of Data
  • Lecture 3: Sugars I
  • Lecture 4: Sugars II
  • Lecture 5: Organic Acids I
  • Lecture 6: Organic Acids II
  • Lecture 7: Alcohols I
  • Lecture 8: Alcohols II
  • Lecture 9: Nitrogen I
  • Lecture 10: Nitrogen II
  • Lecture 11: Sulfur Dioxide I
  • Lecture 12: Sulfur Dioxide II
  • Lecture 13: Phenolics I
  • Lecture 14: Phenolics II
  • Lecture 15: Polyphenol Oxidase and Acetaldehyde
  • Lecture 16: Flavor Volatiles
  • Lecture 17: Inorganic Compounds
  • Lecture 18: Potassium Bitartrate Stability
Completion rules
  • All units must be completed