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Provide Samples for the Wine Authenticity Project

Since beginning the Wine Authenticity Project two years ago, nearly 2,500 samples have been collected from wineries in California, Oregon and Washington — but we continue to ask for your participation. This important effort focuses on ensuring a bottle of wine’s legitimacy, helps combat fraud and counterfeits and most importantly, protects a wine’s integrity.Our goal is to have a minimum of 100 samples for each variety — but ideally we would like three to five times that value. We welcome all samples but especially have a current need for Malbec, Petite Sirah, Pinot Gris, Riesling and Sauvignon Blanc. Wine samples must be at least 95% of grape variety.With the help of your submitted wine samples, a U.S. wine variety database is being created and will serve as a set of technical criteria for the global regulatory community to determine authenticity. A comprehensive database also will help American wine to be more easily identifiable when being reviewed to enter markets overseas. Wine from specific producers or brands are not identifiable because participating wineries are anonymized through a double-blind submission process.Continuing to obtain samples is key to achieving a strong database. There are private and regulatory laboratories throughout the world using a technique known as nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) that can potentially verify a wine’s origin and variety. The wine sample’s spectra or digital signature — which contains hundreds of signals that provide information about its composition — will be analyzed with statistics and chemometrics. This important set of data is providing a reference for wine varieties and wine production regions.Additional information on this effort can be found on the Wine Authenticity Project web page. This multi-year project is supported by a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant.


Contact Dr. Patricia Howe for more information or to express interest in participating.