Blame bugs if your wine tastes different

Capetown, Jan 6: If wine from identical grapes in the same vineyard taste different, then blame it on microbes, especially yeast species, says a study.

“In the wine industry, the fungal communities on grapes are especially important. The microbial species present on the berry may contribute to the fermentation process, and therefore the aromatic properties of the resulting wine,” said study author Mathabatha Setati and colleagues from Stellenbosch University.

The researchers sampled grapes from different vines in three well-established commercial vineyards, each of which used a different farming system – organic, traditional or biodynamic – to cultivate the grapes, the journal Public Library of Science reported.

Across the three cultivation practices, they found that the same yeast species dominated in all vineyards, but the least treated vineyard had more variety of fungal species than the other two, according to a university statement.

They also found that within a single vineyard, small differences between vines, such as in temperature or sun exposure, could significantly alter the composition of the fungal community on grape surfaces.

“Our findings could help viticulturalists and wine-makers plan micro harvest better, and implement better wine blending strategies to ensure consistency,” Setati added.

IANS