The Role and Use of Non-Saccharomyces Yeasts in Wine Production

  • N.P. Jolly ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij, Private Bag X5026, 7599 Stellenbosch, South Africa
  • O.P.H. Augustyn ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij, Private Bag X5026, 7599 Stellenbosch, South Africa
  • I.S. Pretorius Institute for Wine Biotechnology, Department of Viticulture & Oenology, Stellenbosch University, Private Bag X1, 7602 Matieland, Stellenbosch, South Africa


The contribution by the numerous grape-must-associated non-Saccharomyces yeasts to wine fermentation has been
debated extensively. These yeasts, naturally present in all wine fermentations, are metabolically active and their
metabolites can impact on wine quality. Although often seen as a source of microbial spoilage, there is substantial
contrary evidence pointing to a positive contribution by these yeasts. The role of non-Saccharomyces yeasts in wine
fermentation is therefore receiving increasing attention by wine microbiologists in Old and New World wine
producing countries. Species that have been investigated for wine production thus far include those from the
Candida, Kloeckera, Hanseniaspora, Zygosaccharomyces, Schizosaccharomyces, Torulaspora, Brettanomyces,
Saccharomycodes, Pichia and Williopsis genera. In this review the use and role of non-Saccharomyces yeast in wine
production is presented and research trends are discussed.


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