Wine is frequently reported as one of the most adulterated agro-food products worldwide. Among the traceability methods available, DNA is of particular interest providing the possibility to recognize uniquely the wine production cultivar/cultivars. Several studies carried out in controlled conditions (laboratory level or small production wineries) support the use of DNA in wine traceability, but the situation can change completely when moving from controlled to uncontrolled realities. In the present study, the entire production chain, in a large cooperative Italian winery, was followed, for a monovarietal (Pinot noir PDO) and a polyvarietal (Rosso Oltrepò TGI) production. Results support the feasibility of DNA traceability from grape delivering to the whole fermentation process and through the most common oenological operations as racking and filtration. The application of most aggressive methods (as the thermovinification process) can increase DNA degradation reducing but not hampering the possibility to apply DNA for traceability purposes. A different situation concerns the storage of wine in tanks, despite the controlled temperature and light conditions, or in bottles where DNA degradation continues strongly influencing the possibility to apply traceability.
Matteo Busconi, is associate professor of Agricultural Genetics and Ph.D. in molecular biotechnology at the Faculty of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore. He is lecturer, in the same University, for the courses of: Plant Physiology and Genetics; Vegetable Production and Technology; Plant Derived Products; Plant Genomics for Sustainable Agriculture and Grape and Wine Biotechnology. His research activity is mainly based on plant biodiversity, DNA analysis and DNA based traceability along the Agro-food chain. He is the author of over 60 publications in national and international scientific journals and in proceedings of national and international conferences.