The Occurrence of Non-Saccharomyces cerevisiae Yeast Species Over Three Vintages in Four Vineyards and Grape Musts From Four Production Regions of the Western Cape, South Africa

  • N.P. Jolly ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij, Stellenbosch
  • O.P.H. Augustyn ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij, Stellenbosch
  • I.S. Pretorius Institute for Wine Biotechnology and Department of Viticulture & Oenology, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch


The role of non-Saccharomyces yeasts in wine production has been extensively debated and there is growing evidence that non-Saccharomyces yeasts play an important role in wine quality. It has been suggested that metabolites formed by some non-Saccharomyces species may contribute to wine quality. Recently a comprehensive, longterm research programme was launched by role players in the South African wine industry, whose aims include the isolation, characterisation and preservation of the natural yeast biodiversity of the Western Cape. As part of the programme, this paper investigates the presence of non-Saccharomyces yeast species over three vintages in four vineyards and musts in four distinct areas of the Western Cape. Samples were taken and the non-Saccharomyces yeast isolates were characterised by biochemical profiling and pulse field gel electrophoresis. In total 720 yeasts representing 24 species were isolated. Predominant species found in the must samples, i.e. Candida stellata, Kloeckera apiculata, Candida pulcherrima and Candida colliculosa, should have the most impact on subsequent fermentation.


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