Principles of Isotope Measurements

Principles of isotope measurements and determination of origin and authenticity of wine are based on various interactions of plants and environment, depending on their morphology and physiology. Isotope ratios are specific for the certain type of plants, and are directly related to the climate conditions and area of a plants origin. This specificity is also reflected in the final product originating from certain areas, which represents an isotopic “fingerprint”.

What is Measured?

  • By measuring the relative ratio of carbon stable isotopes (13C/12C) in wine ethanol, information on sugar addition that originates from corn or sugar cane can be detected.
  • By measuring the relative ratio of oxygen stable isotopes (18O/16O) in wine, information on water addition is determined.
  • By measuring the relative ratio of non-exchangeable hydrogen stable isotopes (D/H) in wine ethanol samples, information on sugar or ethanol addition, which originates from beet sugar, wheat, barley etc. is obtained.