Genotypic and technological characterisation of the S. cerevisiae population isolated in a biodynamic winery in the Cortona DOC area was performed to gain better knowledge of the variables that influence winemaking. The oenological performance of 11 S. cerevisiae strains was evaluated with physiological tests; strain typing was performed through analysis of interdelta sequences and 26S rDNA sequencing. The analysis revealed a remarkable variability in terms of S. cerevisiae strains, despite the homogeneity of wine features, underlining the high levels of biodiversity characterising biodynamic agriculture. Some strains were found in wines of different vintages, suggesting the presence of an established microbiota in the winery. Oenological tests demonstrated that while some yeasts provided reliable oenological performance, other strains were not able to accomplish prompt and effective alcoholic fermentation, or were characterised by spoilage characteristics, such as excessive production of volatile phenols or acetic acid. Indigenous strains of S. cerevisiae could be a useful instrument for reliable winemaking without altering the native microbiota of each oenological environment. However, characterisation of their oenological suitability, and the application of practices able to drive the evolution of microbiota, must be employed to reduce the risk of wine spoilage.
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We would like to thank Stefano Amerighi, Giulia Marangon, Alessandro Magrin and Calogero Caruana for their suggestions and for stimulating discussion throughout the course of this work.
This work was funded with the standard resources of the Edmund Mach Foundation and the University of Pisa.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflicts of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Research involving human participants and/or animals
Informed consent was obtained from all the individual participants involved in the study.
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