Prevalence and Management of Alkyl-Methoxypyrazines in a Changing Climate: Viticultural and Oenological Considerations

Biomolecules. 2021 Oct 15;11(10):1521. doi: 10.3390/biom11101521.


Alkyl-methoxypyrazines are an important class of odor-active molecules that contribute green, 'unripe' characters to wine and are considered undesirable in most wine styles. They are naturally occurring grape metabolites in many cultivars, but can also be derived from some Coccinellidae species when these 'ladybugs' are inadvertently introduced into the must during harvesting operations. The projected impacts of climate change are discussed, and we conclude that these include an altered alkyl-methoxypyrazine composition in grapes and wines in many wine regions. Thus, a careful consideration of how to manage them in both the vineyard and winery is important and timely. This review brings together the relevant literatures on viticultural and oenological interventions aimed at mitigating alkyl-methoxypyrazine loads, and makes recommendations on their management with an aim to maintaining wine quality under a changing and challenging climate.

Keywords: climate adaptation; climate change; grape secondary metabolites; ladybug taint; methoxypyrazines; wine.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Climate Change*
  • Food Contamination
  • Fruit / chemistry
  • Fruit / metabolism
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Humans
  • Odorants / analysis
  • Pyrazines / chemistry
  • Pyrazines / metabolism*
  • Vitis / chemistry*
  • Vitis / metabolism
  • Wine / analysis*


  • Pyrazines