Med-WINE-Quality Grape-Wine Quality and Mediterranean Diet

Group members: 
Mª José Motilva Casado: 
Research Scientist, CSIC (Responsible for Polyphenols)
Mar Vilanova de la Torre: 
Distinguished Researcher, CSIC (Responsible for Volatiles area)
Silvia Yuste: 
Postdoctoral researcher
Bianca Souza: 
Juana I. Mosse: 
Visiting researcher (CONICET-Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina)
Collaborator researchers: 
Carmen-Patricia Pérez Matute: 
CIBIR (Centro de Investigación Biomédica de La Rioja, Fundación Rioja Salud)
María Iñiguez Martínez: 
CIBIR (Centro de Investigación Biomédica de La Rioja, Fundación Rioja Salud)
Belinda Matute: 
Fundación Rioja Salud, Servicio de Neurología, Hospital San Pedro, Logroño
Sara López Alava: 
Fundación Rioja Salud, Servicio de Neurología, Hospital San Pedro, Logroño
Maria Eugenia Marzo: 
Fundación Rioja Salud, Servicio de Neurología, Hospital San Pedro, Logroño
Federico Castillo: 
Fundación Rioja Salud, Servicio de Neurología, Hospital San Pedro, Logroño
Jose Luis Peñalvo: 
Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp (Bélgica)
Javier Cancela: 
Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, USC
Jesús Yuste: 
Instituto Tecnológico Agrario de Castilla y León, Itacyl
David Uriarte: 
Centro de Investigaciones Científico-Tecnológicas de Extremadura, Cicytex
Esperanza Valdés: 
Centro de Investigaciones Científico-Tecnológicas de Extremadura, Cicytex
Amelia Montoro: 
Instituto Técnico Agronómico Provincial de Albacete, ITAP-Fundescam
Luca Rolle: 
Universidad de Turín (Italia)
Susana Rio-Segade: 
Universidad de Turín (Italia)
José Maria Oliveira: 
Universidade do Minho (Portugal)
Wasley Duarte: 
Universidad de Lavras (Brasil)
Research goals:

The group has a clear multidisciplinary character, and its main activity is the grape and wine research, from physicochemical (phenolic and volatile fractions) and sensory properties to the importance of wine in the Mediterranean diet. The specific aims are grouped in different research lines, as detailed below:

Activity 1. Study of the minority fractions, responsible for grape and wine quality. This activity includes different sub-activities:

  • 1.1. Analysis of the aromatic quality of grapes and wine, by gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS).
  • 1.2. Analysis of grape and wine phenolic fraction using advanced liquid chromatography techniques: targeted metabolomics (UHPLC-QqQ-MS/MS) and untargeted metabolomics (SYNAPT XS ACQUITY UPLC system).
  • 1.3. Grape response to biotic and abiotic stresses. Improve the grape and wine quality by a controlled stress in the plant, stimulating glycosylated forms and phenolic compounds. Study of volatile compounds in plant-plant communication as defense responses against stress.
  • 1.4. Application of digital tools to estimate the grape quality. Use of Visible-NIR hyperspectral cameras to ripening control in basis to correlations between images and quality parameters.
  • 1.5. Sensory characterization of grapes, wines and distillates. Correlations between chemical composition and sensory descriptors. To develop new methods of sensory analysis of grapes and other fruits.

This activity line is open to any vegetable product such as virgin olive oil, fruit, cereals and hops, and others, as well as by-products from the food industry.

Activity 2. Post-harvest ozone application. Impact on minority fractions of grapes and wine.

Activity 3. Valorization of by-products from the winemaking process to obtain new ingredients with high content of bioactive compounds, with special interest in polyphenols, and their application in the formulation of new foods as well as crop protection.

Activity 4. Advance in the study of the mechanisms of the healthy properties of wine polyphenols, through moderate consumption in the context of the Mediterranean Diet. Identification of biomarkers of wine consumption as well as wine consumption in the diet, through the application of target and untargeted metabolomics techniques.

Active Research Projects

Project title: "Relationship between wine consumption, diet and microbiome modulation in Alzheimers Disease in a cohort from La Rioja”

Financing entity:  Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación. PID2019-108851RB-C22

Participants (Coordinated project):  CIAL-CSIC, Madrid; Instituto de Ciencias de la Vid y del Vino-ICVV, CIBIR-Fundación Rioja Salud.

Duration:  2020-2024

Global objective:  The subproject aims to precise the connections between diet, and wine in particular, and protection against Alzheimers disease (AD) in an environment of other multiple lifestyle factors. A first specific objective is focused on the development of tools for characterizing lifestyle factors potentially associated with AD, in particular an app mobile application prototype for the self-report of diet and lifestyle habits, and especially for wine consumption, in a simple and user friendly manner. In a second objective and as main focus of the subproject, we will study the dietary and lifestyle factors associated with prevalent subclinical Alzheimer's disease in La Rioja cohort, with special attention to the wine consumption, and microbiota and metabolic features. In the third objective, the subproject will be focused on animal-based investigations about the mechanisms of the protective effects against AD of moderate wine consumption in relation to the modulation of intestinal microbiota. For this proposal, an AD-induced mice model will be used to specifically explore the modulation effects of wine/wine polyphenols on gut microbiota through the fecal microbiota transplantation.


Project Title: “Annual water and agronomic management in red grape varieties to improve their productive and qualitative behavior and reduce effects of climate change (WFW-Irrivitis)”

Financing entity:  Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación, PID2019-105039RR-C44

Participants (Coordinated project):  Cicitex (Extremadura), Fundescam (Castilla-La Mancha), Itacyl (Castilla y León), Universidad de Santiago de Compostela (Galicia), Instituto de Ciencias de la Vid y del Vino (Logroño)

Duration:  2020-2023

Sub-project from Galicia (USC-ICVV):  Effects of the irrigation frequency and the use of slate waste in the production and quality of Vitis vinifera cv. Mencía: aromatic composition.

Global objective:  Galician vineyards have not been traditionally irrigated, although in the last decade it has had an increase in irrigated surface with the aim of addressing the inter-annual irregularity of the productions, seeking a stabilization in quality and production. Another aspect that justifies the implementation of irrigation systems has been climatic alterations, especially the decrease in rainfall during the summer period and its irregularity, together with slight increases in temperatures. Although there are several studies about the irrigation management in Galician vineyards, in red varieties are limited, being necessary to expand knowledge about when, and how much water apply to improve the efficiency in the use of water, without reducing the quality of grapes. Since the majority red variety in Galicia is Mencía, which accounts for more than 90 % of the surface of the Galician red varieties, the study will be carried out on it.


Projects in collaboration with industry and others:

Project Title: “Agronomic and oenological evaluation of ozone treatment in Ribeira Sacra varieties to enhance the aromatic and phenolic composition of wines from Ponte da Boga winery”

Financing entity:  Centro para el Desarrollo Tecnológico Industrial (CDTI)

Participants:  Bodega Ponte da Boga, Universidad de Santiago de Compostela (USC), Instituto de Ciencias de la Vid y del Vino (ICVV) y Universidad de Turín

Duration:  2021-2023

Global objective:  Determine the agronomic response of wine varieties Albariño, Godello, Blanco lexítimo and Mencía in the edaphoclimatic conditions of different subzones of the D.O. Ribeira Sacra. Evaluate the effect of the ozone application in post-harvest on the grape and wine phenolic and aromatic quality.


Project title: “Use of by-products and development of the Circular Economy of the Agrifood Industry” (plusPRODUCT)”. Project reference: 23M/20

Program:  Línea Ayudas para los equipos de innovación que planteen acciones conjuntas con vistas a la mitigación o adaptación al cambio climático. Convocatoria 2020. Fondo Europeo Agrícola de Desarrollo Rural: Europa invierte en las zonas rurales.

Financing entity:  Unión Europea (Fondo Agrícola De Desarrollo Rural); Ministerio de Agricultura, Alimentación y Medioambiente; Gobierno de La Rioja

Participants:  AIDISA.‐ CENTRO TECNOLÓGICO ALIMENTARIO Ctic Cita, La Rioja (coordinador); Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Instituto de Ciencias de la Vid y del Vino (ICVV)

Duration:  2020-2021

Global objective:  The plusProduct project aims to develop a strategy for the valorization of the by-products of the grape, wine and tomato transformation processes, through simple and technically and economically feasible procedures that allow obtaining ingredients with a high content of bioactive compounds for the formulation of high value added foods. This valorization strategy would be extensible in the future to different by-products of the agri-food industry.

Research Associated Units (I+D+I) to CSIC
  1. Unidad de Investigación de Enfermedades Infecciosas, Microbiota y Metabolismo del Centro de Investigación Biomédica de La Rioja (CIBIR, Fundación Rioja Salud).
  2. CropQuality: Estreses en los cultivos y sus efectos en la calidad (Universidad de Santiago de Compostela).
All publications (direct links)

María José Motilva
Scopus Author ID: 6701753466

Mar Vilanova
Scopus Author ID: 12766701400

Most important recent publications:

Royo, C.; Ferradás, Y.; Martínez-Zapater, J.M.; Motilva, M-J. (2021) Characterization of Tempranillo negro (VN21), a high phenolic content grapevine Tempranillo clone, through UHPLC-QqQ-MS/MS polyphenol profiling. Food Chemistry, 360: 130049.

Bars-Cortina, D.; Sakhawat, A.; Piñol-Felis, C.; Motilva, M-J. (2021) Chemopreventive effects of anthocyanins on colorectal and breast cancer: A review. Seminars in Cancer Biology. DOI:

Royo, C.; Carbonell-Berejano, P.; Torres-Pérez, R.; Freire, L.; Ibáñez, J.; Martínez-Zapater, J.M.; Vilanova M. (2021). Is aromatic terpenoid composition of grapes in Northwestern Iberian wine cultivars related to variation in VviDXS1 gene?. Journal of Berry Research, 11(2): 187-200. DOI:

Vilanova, M.; Genisheva, Z.; Tubío, M.; Alvarez, K.; Lissarrague, J.R.; Oliveira, J.M. (2021). Effect of nine rootstocks on chemical and volatile composition of Albariño wine. Applied Science, 11, 2135. DOI:

Moreno-Arribas, M.V.; Bartolomé, B.; Peñalvo, J.L.; Pérez-Matute, P.; Motilva, M-J. (2020) Relationship between Wine Consumption, Diet and Microbiome Modulation in Alzheimer’s Disease. Nutrients, 12, 3082. doi: 10.3390/nu12103082

Daimiel, L.; Micó, V.; Valls, R.M.; Pedret, A.; Motilva, M.J.; Rubió, L.; Fitó, M.; Farrás, M.; Covas, M.I.; Solá, R.; Ordovás, J.M. (2020) Impact of Phenol-Enriched Virgin Olive Oils on the postprandial levels of circulating microRNAs related to cardiovascular disease. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research, 64, 2000049. doi: 10.1002/mnfr.202000049

Vilanova, M.; Fernández, E.; Yuste, J. (2020). Abiotic stresses influence on Verdejo wine composition: Cluster thinning on different water regimes. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture, 100:1515-1523. DOI:

Coelho, E.; Lemos, M.; Genisheva, Z.; Domingues, L.; Vilanova, M.; Oliveira, J.M. (2020). Simple and quick LLME/GC-MS methodology to quantify minor volatile compounds in alcoholic beverages. Molecules, 25:621. DOI:

Fernández-Castillejo, S.; Macià, A.; Motilva, MJ.; Catalán, S.; Solà, R. (2019) Endothelial cells deconjugate resveratrol metabolites to free resveratrol: a possible role in tissue factor modulation. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research (on line). DOI: 10.1002/mnfr.201800715

Yuste, S.; Ludwig, I.A.; Rubió, L.; Romero, M-P.; Pedret, A.; Valls, R-M.; Solà, R.; Motilva, M.-J.; Macià, A. (2019) In vivo biotransformation of (poly)phenols and anthocyanins of red-fleshed apple and identification of intake biomarkers. Journal of Functional Foods 55: 146-155. DOI: 10.1016/j.jff.2019.02.013

Vilanova, M.; Fandiño, M.; Frutos, S.; Cancela, J. (2019). Assessment fertigation effects on volatile and non-volatile compounds in Vitis vinifera Albariño. Food Chemistry, 278: 636-643. DOI:

Valdés, E.; Talaverano, I.; Moreno, D.; Prieto, H.; Mancha, L.A.; Uriarte, D.; Vilanova, M. (2019). Effect of the timing of water deficit on the must amino acid profile of Tempranillo grapes grown under the semiarid conditions of SW Spain. Food Chemistry, 292:24-31. DOI:

Yuste, S.; Macià, A.; Ludwig, I.; Romero, M-P.; Fernández-Castillejo, S.; Catalán, U.; Motilva, M.-J.; Rubió, L. (2018) Validation of dried blood spot cards to determine apple phenolic metabolites in human blood and plasma after an acute intake of red-fleshed apple snack. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research 62 (23) (on line) DOI:

Pedret, A.; Fernández-Castillejo, S.; Valls, R-M.; Catalán, U.; Rubió, L.; Romeu, M.; Macià, A.; López de las Mazas, M-C.; Farràs, M.; Giralt, M.; Martín-Peláez, S.; Remaley, A.; Covas, M-I.; Fitó, M.; Motilva, M-J.; Solà, R. (2018) Cardiovascular benefits of phenol-enriched virgin olive oils: Insights from the virgin olive oil and HDL functionality (VOHF) study. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research 62 (16) (on line). DOI: 10.1002/mnfr.201800456

Vilanova, M.; Rodríguez-Nogales, J.M.; Vila-Crespo, J.; Yuste, J. (2018). Influence of water regime on yield components, must chemicals and wine volatiles of cv. Verdejo. Australian Journal of Grape and Wine Research, 25:83-91. DOI:

Rio Segade, S.; Vilanova, M.; Giacosa, S.; … Rolle, L. (2018). Grape VCOs response to post-harvest short-term ozone treatments. Frontiers in Plant Sciences, 9:1-15. DOI:

Martínez, M.; Motilva, M-J.; López de las Hazas, M.C.; Romero, M-P.; Vaculova, K.; Ludwig, I.A. (2017) Phytochemical composition and β-glucan content of barley genotypes from two different geographic origins for human health food production. Food Chemistry 245: 61-70. DOI: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2017.09.026

Cedo, L.; Santos, D.; Ludwig, I.A.; Silvennoinen, R.; García-Leó, A.; Kaipiainen, L.; Carbó, J.M.; Valledor, A.F.; Gylling, H.; Motilva, M-J.; Kovanen, P.T.; Lee-Rueckert, M.; Blanco-Vaca, F.; Escolà-Gil, J.C. (2017) Phytosterol-mediated inhibition of intestinal cholesterol absorption in mice is independent of liver X receptor. Molecular Nutrition and Food Research 61 (9) (on line). DOI: 10.1002/mnfr.201700055

Río Segade, S.; Vilanova, M.; Giacosa, S.; Gambino, G.; Pollon, M.; Torchio, F.; Perrone, I.; Chitarra, W.; Boccacci, P.; Gerbi, V.; Rolle, L. (2017). Ozone improves the aromatic fingerprint of wine grapes. Scientific Reports, 7: 16301. DOI:

Moreno, D.; Valdés, E.; Uriarte, D.; Gamero, E.; Talaverano, I.; Vilanova, M. (2017). Early Leaf removal applied in warm climatic conditions: Impact on Tempranillo wine volatiles. Food Research International, 98:50-58. DOI: