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High-Precision 87Sr/86Sr Analyses in Wines and Their Use as a Geological Fingerprint for Tracing Geographic Provenance

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journal contribution
posted on 2013-07-17, 00:00 authored by Sara Marchionni, Eleonora Braschi, Simone Tommasini, Andrea Bollati, Francesca Cifelli, Nadia Mulinacci, Massimo Mattei, Sandro Conticelli
The radiogenic isotopic compositions of inorganic heavy elements such as Sr, Nd, and Pb of the food chain may constitute a reliable geographic fingerprint, their isotopic ratios being inherited by the geological substratum of the territory of production. The Sr isotope composition of geomaterials (i.e., rocks and soils) is largely variable, and it depends upon the age of the rocks and their nature (e.g., genesis, composition). In this study we developed a high-precision analytical procedure for determining Sr isotopes in wines at comparable uncertainty levels of geological data. With the aim of verifying the possibility of using Sr isotope in wine as a reliable tracer for geographic provenance, we performed Sr isotope analyses of 45 bottled wines from four different geographical localities of the Italian peninsula. Their Sr isotope composition has been compared with that of rocks from the substrata (i.e., rocks) of their vineyards. In addition wines from the same winemaker but different vintage years have been analyzed to verify the constancy with time of the 87Sr/86Sr. Sr isotope compositions have been determined by solid source thermal ionization mass spectrometry following purification of Sr in a clean laboratory. 87Sr/86Sr of the analyzed wines is correlated with the isotopic values of the geological substratum of the vineyards, showing little or no variation within the same vineyard and among different vintages. Large 87Sr/86Sr variation is observed among wines from the different geographical areas, reinforcing the link with the geological substratum of the production territory. This makes Sr isotopes a robust geochemical tool for tracing the geographic authenticity and provenance of wine.