, Volume 79, Issue 1, pp 97-105

Analysis of yeasts derived from natural fermentation in a Tokaj winery

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The diversity of yeast flora was investigated in a spontaneously fermenting sweet white wine in a Tokaj winery. The non-Saccharomyces yeasts dominating the first phase of fermentation were soon replaced by a heterogeneous Saccharomycespopulation, which then became dominated by Saccharomyces bayanus. Three Saccharomyces sensu stricto strains isolated from various phases of fermentation were tested for genetic stability, optimum growth temperature, tolerance to sulphur dioxide, copper and ethanol as well as for the ability to produce hydrogen sulphide and various secondary metabolites known to affect the organoleptic properties of wines. The analysis of the single-spore cultures derived from spores of dissected asci revealed high stability of electrophoretic karyotypes and various degrees of heterozygosity for mating-types, the fermentation of galactose and the production of metabolic by-products. The production levels of the by-products did not segregate in a 2:2 fashion, suggesting that the synthesis of these compounds is under polygenic control.