Phenolic compounds are a group of natural products that play an important role in the quality of wines. Most phenolic compounds present in wine are derived from those contained in grapes and extracted from skins, seeds, and pulp during the initial steps of winemaking. Among them, anthocyanins and flavonols are involved in the color of red wines as pigments or copigments and also as precursors of polymeric pigments after reaction with other phenols. Biosynthesis of those phenolics in grapes is regulated by different genes; thus, each grape genotype presents a characteristic phenolic fingerprint, which is modulated by different environmental conditions. In this chapter, the anthocyanins and flavonols composition of different genotypes of wild grapes preserved at El Encin Germplasm Bank has been examined in detail. Wild grapevines are a remarkable genetic resource that may be used in breeding programs to improve the phenolic composition of cultivated grapes and, hence, the quality of red wines.
Part of the book: Grapes and Wines