In recent years, consumers have become increasingly concerned by the effects of conventional agricultural production practices on both human and environmental health. Production obtained from organic farming methods has been rapidly increasing in developed countries. This may be explained by the fact that organic food adequately meets all requirements for quality, genuineness and healthiness by consumers. Among organic food products, wine has also aroused a large interest, although, in this segment, it comes last in a consumer's preference scale. This study was carried out to compare organically and conventionally grown Sangiovese di Romagna PDO wines from two successive vintages using sensory descriptors and instrumental parameters. PCA was used in order to assess sensory and chemico-physical differences between samples. Results showed that both instrumental and sensory indices significantly explained the differences between wines. Samples from different vintages were clearly distinguished. Conventional wines from vintage 2007 showed a stronger Bitter taste, Woody, Spicy and Vanilla Aroma as well as a higher volatile acidity than organic wines, whereas conventional and organic wines from vintage 2008 were similar and showed high free anthocyan content and strong Fruity Flavor. Consumer’s attitudes towards organic wine were also investigated through a questionnaire related to wine consumption habits and organic food purchase intention. It was shown that 61% of respondents would be willing to pay 10-20% more for organically produced wines, suggesting that environmentally sustainable practices related to wine quality have good market prospects.
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