Wine yeasts for the future


  • Editor: Patrizia Romano

Correspondence: Graham H. Fleet, Food Science, School of Chemical Sciences and Engineering, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia, 2052. Tel.: +61 2 9 3855564; fax: +61 2 93855931; e-mail:


International competition within the wine market, consumer demands for newer styles of wines and increasing concerns about the environmental sustainability of wine production are providing new challenges for innovation in wine fermentation. Within the total production chain, the alcoholic fermentation of grape juice by yeasts is a key process where winemakers can creatively engineer wine character and value through better yeast management and, thereby, strategically tailor wines to a changing market. This review considers the importance of yeast ecology and yeast metabolic reactions in determining wine quality, and then discusses new directions for exploiting yeasts in wine fermentation. It covers criteria for selecting and developing new commercial strains, the possibilities of using yeasts other than those in the genus of Saccharomyces, the prospects for mixed culture fermentations and explores the possibilities for high cell density, continuous fermentations.