Winemaking can be summarized as the biotransformation of must into wine, which is performed principally by Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains during the primary or alcoholic fermentation. A secondary fermentation, the so-called malolactic fermentation (MLF) is a biodeacidification that is often encouraged, since it improves wine stability and quality. Malolactic fermentation usually occurs either spontaneously or after inoculation with selected bacteria after alcoholic fermentation. The main organism responsible for MLF, the lactic acid bacterium Oenococcus oeni, develops in physicochemically harsh conditions, which may lead to MLF failure. Furthermore, yeast that ferment must before or together with O. oeni can prevent or stimulate the progress of MLF. These phenomena are part of the interactions observed between yeast and bacteria. The mechanisms that govern yeast bacteria interaction are reviewed and the consequences for winemaking are discussed. In the light of recent advances, future prospects are also presented.
Copyright 2003 Elsevier B.V.