Determination of fungicide pyrimethanil in grapes, must, fermenting must and wine


Correspondence to: María-Teresa Martínez-Soria, Department of Chemistry, University of La Rioja, Madre de Dios 53, E-26006 Logroño, Spain. E-mail:



This study determined the evolution of pyrimethanil, a fungicide commonly used to control Botrytis cinerea, throughout the winemaking process in grapes, must, fermenting must and wine. Tempranillo grapevines were treated with pyrimethanil according to both good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Critical Agricultural Practices (CAP). Fermentation was carried out in an experimental winery. Grape analysis was based on an ethyl acetate extraction method. Samples from fermentation were analysed by solid phase extraction. The determination was carried out by gas chromatography with nitrogen–phosphorus detection (GC-NPD) and additionally confirmed by gas chromatography/mass spectrometry (GC/MS).


Pyrimethanil residues were at least ten times greater in grapes treated 7 days before harvest than in those treated respecting the safety period (21 days). The amount of pyrimethanil in grapes treated under GAP was below the maximum residue limit (5 mg kg−1). The level of pyrimethanil decreased during fermentation in both treatments. In the fermentation of grapes treated according to CAP, the pyrimethanil concentration was reduced by over 50% on the first day and then remained constant until the end of the fermentation process. For grapes treated in compliance with GAP, the amount of pyrimethanil decreased to a level below the limit of detection in the bottled wine.


The described methods for grapes, must, fermenting must and wine gave good recoveries, linearity, precision and accuracy. They were also highly sensitive in avoiding matrix effects. Pyrimethanil residues found in treated grapes were higher in skin than in pulp. The amount of pyrimethanil decreased during fermentation by degradation and/or adsorption. For grapes treated according to GAP, residues disappeared in the final bottled wine. The decrease observed in the final bottled wine may be caused by diverse oenological practices and technologies such us malolactic fermentation, racking and settling. © 2012 Society of Chemical Industry