GreenVenus, LLC has introduced wine grape cultivars intended for the production of high-quality wines without using sulfite.

Oxidation, or browning, during grape juice processing can affect the color, phenolic content, and overall quality of wines. Sulfur dioxide (SO2) is commonly used to prevent undesired oxidation, but it is linked to adverse health effects for individuals who are sensitive or allergic to sulfites. As a result, there is a growing demand for sustainable alternatives to address oxidation without compromising wine quality and safety.

GreenVenus’ new wine grape cultivars reportedly possess natural preservation properties, diminishing or negating the need for sulfites as preservatives during winemaking. These varieties exhibit antioxidant capabilities that will safeguard wine from oxidation and protect its authentic color and flavors, the company says.

"We are excited to bring modern breeding technologies such as gene editing to wine grapes," says Dr. Shiv Tiwari, CEO of GreenVenus. "We are making significant progress in developing new grape varieties that require fewer chemical inputs while ensuring the production of premium-quality wines".

The new product resulted from a collaboration between GreenVenus and the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation Plant Transformation Facility in the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at UC Davis, which developed a platform that allows for the regeneration of gene-edited plants from single cells of multiple grape varieties.

"These innovations are only the beginning," says Tiwari. "Our technologies hold tremendous promise to enhance the resistance of wine grapes to destructive diseases, reduce the reliance on chemical interventions and promote environmentally friendly vinification practices."

GreenVenus says it will focus on product development with grape varieties that thrive in California's diverse wine-growing regions. The new varieties will be made available to growers and winemakers through licensing agreements.