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La Rioja wines achieve highest reseveratrol

Wines developed by nine wineries from La Rioja (Bodegas Bilbaínas, Bodegas Dinastía Vivanco, Bodegas Viña Hermosa, Bodegas Juan Alcorta, Marqués de Murrieta, Bodegas Ontañón, Bodegas Patrocinio, Regalía de Ollauri and Bodegas Riojanas) working with Avanzare and Dolmar, leaders in innovation for the wine industry in La Rioja, have achieved a milestone in global viticulture and oenology in producing the highest-ever levels of reseveratrol produced naturally in a wine.

For the first time, through the development and implementation of natural techniques, both in the vineyard and production process, winemakers have dramatically increased the level of resveratrol in a wine, reaching values never seen before at 25.6 mg/litre. This level of polyphenol represents an increase of 79% over the previous highest level of 14.3 mg/litre found in an Hungarian wine.

"The results, although provisional by the moment, open a very important work area for the viticulture and oenology. That must be the way forward for Rioja wines; offer a good product, with added value compared to the competition, away from low price policy and based on research, development and innovation," explain winemakers involved in this project.

During 2008, the production of higher amounts of polyphenols in selected vinyards belonging to these nine wineries was enhanced by physico-chemical treatments, controls and in-depth analysis during the whole growing season in order to ripen the fruit. After the harvest in September 2008, the second phase of the project commenced with the pilot micro-vinifications of the wines.
It is anticipated that the first wines will be available for public consumption after the 2009 harvest.

For winemakers "healthy product policy is critical to the future, which means to keep away from terms such as 'transgenic, mutation, genetically transformed ...' and clarify to consumers that our project is NATURAL".

"We have received interest and demand for our market in the US and UK, where we believe that the wine from this project can have a good future," have declared some wineries.

This project is a serious attempt by these wineries to deepen the connection between wine and health, reinforcing naturally favourable effects for cardiovascular diseases or cancer, which have often been described in reports and scientific studies writtten by several international agencies and published by magazines such as the Royal Society of Chemistry, American Chemical Society, Elsevier, Laboratoire de Nutrition et Sécurité Alimentaire.

The resulting higher level of trans-resveratrol and quercitin in these wines will enhance (through moderate consumption) effects on health as, for instance, an antioxidant, as a reducer of bad LDL cholesterol values, as a protector against some kinds of cancer, an improver of blood sugar levels and blood flow, having anti-inflammatory properties.

For Julio Gómez, Avanzare CEO, and Mariano Fernández, Dolmar CEO, "the project has already yielded promising results, through the consumption and enjoyment of wine will be provided health benefits to our body.

"We have broken a record in terms of concentration of resveratrol and from now we must continue working to make the most of what we have achieve," they explain.

Avanzare and Dolmar, the leaders in innovation for the wine industry in Rioja, have been driving this technical and scientific project. Vinomio, an expert agency in innovation marketing and public relations for wine tourism, wine, and culinary, will be responsible for the public relations and brand development of the participating wineries during the marketing and distribution phase next year.




1 July 2009 - Felicity Murray