Research confirms sources of “eucalyptus” aroma in wine

Wines & Vines presents an article relaying a study of the eucalyptus aroma conducted by the Australian Wine Research Institute. Eucalyptus trees are native to Australia but are common in California and present on other continents, the article notes. Researchers focused on the oil in the leaves whose volatile compound is 1,8 cineole or eucalyptol. Their work evaluated the proximity of grapevines to eucalyptus trees and included an analysis of grapes, stems and vine leaves. The impacts of eucalyptus leaves and bark which had drifted into the vineyard canopy were also examined. The results are that “the closeness of grapevines to eucalyptus trees has a conclusive effect on 1,8 cineole concentrations in wine, and the presence of MOG [Material Other than Grapes] can significantly influence” the level of the compound. The findings may be relevant to French regions where wild plants containing essential oils are said to impart aromas described as garrigue.

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