Eighty-six strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae were investigated for their ability to produce acetaldehyde in synthetic medium and in grape must. Acetaldehyde production did not differ significantly between the two media, ranging from a few mg/l to about 60 mg/l, and was found to be a strain characteristic. The fermentation temperature of 30 degrees C considerably increased the acetaldehyde produced. This study allowed us to assign the strains to different phenotypes: low, medium and high acetaldehyde producers. The low and high phenotypes differed considerably also in the production of acetic acid, acetoin and higher alcohols and can be useful for studying acetaldehyde production in S. cerevisiae, both from the technological and genetic point of view.