Basal defoliation, as one of the most common viticulture management practices to modify fruit zone microclimates, has been widely applied aiming at improving wine quality. Wine aroma contributes greatly to wine quality, yet the effects of basal defoliation on wine aromas show discrepancies according to previous studies. This study is a meta-analysis performed to dissect the factors related to the influence of basal defoliation on volatile compounds in wine. Timing of basal defoliation plays an important role in the concentration of varietal aromas in wine. Pre-veraison defoliation induces an increase in β
-damascenone and linalool as well as a reduction in 3-isobutyl-2-methoxypyrazine (IBMP). The effects of basal defoliation on certain volatile compounds relative to fermentation aromas in wine (1-hexanol, β
-phenylethanol, 2-phenylethyl acetate, decanoic acid, and ethyl octanoate) depend on grape maturity. There are also other factors, such as cultivar and climate conditions, that might be responsible for the effect of basal defoliation on wine aromas. The concentrations of isobutanol, isoamyl alcohol, hexanoic acid, and octanoic acid as well as ethyl isobutyrate, ethyl hexanoate, ethyl isovalerate, and ethyl decanoate in wine are not markedly affected by basal defoliation. Due to limited studies included in this meta-analysis, more trials are needed to confirm the current findings.
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