Impact of cold soak duration on Cabernet Sauvignon fermentation and phenolic composition

J Sci Food Agric. 2019 Jan 30;99(2):805-815. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.9249. Epub 2018 Sep 3.


Background: Cold soak is a prefermentative maceration technique believed to enhance grape skin extraction. Studies show variable results depending on cold soak and winemaking conditions. To investigate the effect of cold soak more fully, systematic and highly reproducible Cabernet Sauvignon fermentations with increasing cold-soak durations were performed.

Results: Phenolic extraction during cold soak and fermentation showed significant differences among all treatments for monitored phenolics at the end of the cold soak. At the end of alcoholic fermentation only gallic acid, (-)-epicatechin, and the flavonols were significant, and only (-)-epicatechin was significant after bottle ageing. Descriptive analysis of the bottled wines showed that the 4- and 7-day treatments were significantly higher in caramelized/vanilla/browned flavor compared to the 1-day treatment and lower levels of bitterness were observed up to 2 days of cold soak. While oligosaccharide content increased with increasing cold-soak duration, differences were not large enough to result in sensory differences.

Conclusion: While increased cold soak duration led to differences in phenolic extraction during early fermentation, these differences did not last through to the end product. Thus, under the conditions of this study, cold-soak duration had little overall impact on Cabernet Sauvignon wine composition and style. © 2018 Society of Chemical Industry.

Keywords: Cabernet Sauvignon; cold soak; extraction; fermentation; phenolics.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Cold Temperature
  • Fermentation
  • Food Handling / methods*
  • Fruit / chemistry
  • Phenols / chemistry*
  • Vitis / chemistry*
  • Wine / analysis*


  • Phenols