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Application of molecular identification and wine evaluation for the distinction of the “Asproudi” variety of Monemvasia Winery’s vineyard, on individual varieties.

Merkouropoulos, G., Miliordos, D. E., Hatzopoulos, P., & Kotseridis, Y. (2018).
In viticulture, the term “Asproudi” (and its variation “Asprouda”) is a general term, and -up until now- it has served as a lexical repository for the grouping of various different varieties, which were categorized in the same, otherwise heterogeneous, group, solely on the basis of their white coloring on the bunch.

Yorgos Tsimbidis, grasping the full potential of modern technology,sought to explore the indigenous raw material he “inherited” on the southeastern corner of the Peloponnese, to evaluate the various vines comprising it, and define the role of each in the final product, so as to improve his existing products or even introduce new ones. He, thus, initiated a research program around the variety’s molecular identification and wine evaluation in cooperation with scientists of the Agricultural University of Athens and the Hellenic Agricultural Organization “Demetra”.

Etymologically, the term “Asproudi” acts as a diminutive, a rather common phenomenon in the Greek language, through which new words are formulated, and thus, the original lexical morpheme (the word’s theme) is illuminated in a more joyful mood and acquires new properties.

In viticulture, the term “Asproudi” (and its variation “Asprouda”) is a general term, and -up until now- it has served as a lexical repository for the grouping of various different varieties, which were categorized in the same, otherwise heterogeneous, group, solely on the basis of their white coloring on the bunch. In the past, on a local scale, this practice did not lead to significant misconceptions. However, today, as distances and borders are disappearing, a significant question is raised regarding the name representing that plant material. The desire and need for evaluation and exploitation has rendered the exact identification of each unit and, subsequently, their separation and promotion in distinct varieties with unique features, as an absolute necessity.

The molecular identification of selected plants was based on 10 microsatellite markers in total (micro-satellite or simple sequence repeats– SSR). In short, the methodology revolves around the isolation of genomic DNA from the collected samples, the carrying-out of a Polymerase Chain Reaction – PCR, the analysis of the results through capillary electrophoresis, and the construction of a tree diagram, demonstrating the relations between the different elements in the analysis.

The most recent analysis (summer 2019) arrived at the conclusion that the Asproudes variety is separated into a total of seven groups, and it is highly possible that wider sampling in the future will not detect more groups of the Asproudes variety in this particular vineyard.

The typical wine analyses showed that the characteristics of each group are different and, consequently, the importance of distinguishing between “genetic” groups in a variety is showcased. Every “genetic” group in this particular vineyard attaches their own special characteristics to the final product.

 

 

 

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