The effect of Debina grapevine indigenous yeast strains of Metschnikowia and Saccharomyces on wine flavour

J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol. 2010 Jan;37(1):85-93. doi: 10.1007/s10295-009-0651-7. Epub 2009 Oct 27.


The spontaneous alcoholic fermentation of grape must is a complex microbiological process involving a large number of various yeast species, to which the flavour of every traditional wine is largely attributed. Whilst Saccharomyces cerevisiae is primarily responsible for the conversion of sugar to alcohol, the activities of various non-Saccharomyces species enhance wine flavour. In this study, indigenous yeast strains belonging to Metschnikowia pulcherrima var. zitsae as well as Saccharomyces cerevisiae were isolated and characterized from Debina must (Zitsa, Epirus, Greece). In addition, these strains were examined for their effect on the outcome of the wine fermentation process when used sequentially as starter cultures. The resulting wine, as analyzed over three consecutive years, was observed to possess a richer, more aromatic bouquet than wine from a commercial starter culture. These results emphasize the potential of employing indigenous yeast strains for the production of traditional wines with improved flavour.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • Chemical Phenomena
  • DNA Primers / genetics
  • DNA, Fungal / genetics
  • Fermentation
  • Flavoring Agents / microbiology
  • Industrial Microbiology
  • Metschnikowia / genetics
  • Metschnikowia / isolation & purification
  • Metschnikowia / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces / genetics
  • Saccharomyces / isolation & purification
  • Saccharomyces / metabolism*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism
  • Vitis / microbiology*
  • Wine / analysis
  • Wine / microbiology*


  • DNA Primers
  • DNA, Fungal
  • Flavoring Agents