Dynamics of indigenous and inoculated yeast populations and their effect on the sensory character of Riesling and Chardonnay wines

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To study the impact of yeast populations on wine flavour and to better understand yeast growth dynamics, wines were produced by the (i) indigenous microflora, (ii) vigorous yeast starter EC1118 and (iii) slowly fermenting yeast Assmannshausen. Sensory analysis revealed that wines differed depending on the fermentation type. However, these yeast-related differences did not exceed the varietal character. Both added starter cultures clearly dominated the Saccharomyces population from the middle of fermentation onwards. The starter cultures differed in their repression of indigenous non-Saccharomyces yeast. EC1118 limited growth of non-Saccharomyces yeasts more strongly than Assmannshausen. Sulphite addition further repressed growth of non-Saccharomyces yeasts. On completion, more than one Saccharomyces strain was present in each fermentation, with the largest variety in the non-inoculated and the smallest in the EC1118-inoculated fermentation. Results from the two genetic assays, karyotyping, and PCR using δ-primers were not fully equivalent, limiting the usefulness of δ-PCR in studies of native Saccharomyces yeasts.

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