Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 91, Issue 2, pp 365–375 | Cite as

Impacts of variations in elemental nutrient concentration of Chardonnay musts on Saccharomyces cerevisiae fermentation kinetics and wine composition

  • Simon A. Schmidt
  • Simon Dillon
  • Radka Kolouchova
  • Paul A. Henschke
  • Paul J. Chambers
Applied Microbial and Cell Physiology


Chardonnay, being the predominant white wine-grape cultivar in the Australian wine sector, is subject to widely varying winemaking processes with the aim of producing a variety of wine styles. Therefore, juice composition might not always be ideal for optimal fermentation outcomes. Our aim was to better understand the composition of Chardonnay juice and how compositional parameters impact on fermentation outcomes. This was achieved through a survey of 96 commercially prepared Chardonnay juices during the 2009 vintage. Common juice variables were estimated using near infrared spectroscopy, and elemental composition was determined using radial view inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry. The influence of elemental composition on fermentation outcomes was assessed by fermentation of a defined medium formulated to reflect the composition and range of concentrations as determined by the juice survey. Yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) strain effects were also assessed. Key parameters influencing fermentation outcomes were verified by laboratory scale fermentation of Chardonnay juice. This exploration of Chardonnay juice identified interactions between juice pH and potassium concentration as key factors impacting on fermentation performance and wine quality. Outcomes differed depending on yeast strain.


Fermentation performance Elemental composition Saccharomyces cerevisiae Chardonnay Acetic acid Stuck fermentation Potassium 



This project was supported by Australia’s grape growers and winemakers through their investment body, the Grape and Wine Research and Development Corporation, with matching funds from the Australian Government. We would also like to thank the Yalumba Wine Company for their support in this work. The AWRI is part of the Wine Innovation Cluster, Adelaide, South Australia.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

253_2011_3197_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (51 kb)
Online resource 1 Correlations between Chardonnay juice elemental components. Pearson product–moment correlation coefficient (r) was computed to assess relationships between juice components. Scatter plots (af) summarize significant correlations (p < 0.0001) between juice components. Lines show a linear regression of the data with slopes (s) and x intercepts (int) given. Dotted lines indicate the 95% confidence interval of the regression (PDF 50 kb).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Simon A. Schmidt
    • 1
  • Simon Dillon
    • 2
  • Radka Kolouchova
    • 1
  • Paul A. Henschke
    • 1
  • Paul J. Chambers
    • 1
  1. 1.The Australian Wine Research InstituteAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.The Yalumba Wine CompanyAngastonAustralia

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