The overall goal of this work is to identify those compounds from smoke that cause negative impacts to wine quality. We are taking a different approach than other research on this topic. In short, we are creating label smoke compounds by growing barley (our fuel source) in a 13CO2 environment. We are then able to track the labeled carbon in the smoke, grapes and wine using NMR, which is very sensitive to 13C.
The accomplishments for the project for the 6 months has been to design the chambers needed to grow barley in elevated CO2 environments (Objective 1A). Our first barley lots (0-4) were/are being run using regular CO2 due to the expense of isotopic 13CO2. Once we have determined the optimal CO2 levels in the chambers we will switch to 13CO2. Development of the chambers included not only how to increase carbon fixation of the 13C in the plant, but determined how to measure the isotopic CO2 and other necessary plant measurements. We are on track to have 13C labeled barley to burn and produce 13C smoke for the 2020 vintage.