When we think of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, fermentation immediately comes to mind, but this is not the only trait that makes this yeast the organism of choice for bread, beer and wine production. The winemaking industry, for example, requires robust strains, capable of converting sugar to ethanol in challenging conditions; high osmotic stress and low pH in the initial grape must, followed by high ethanol concentration at the later stages of fermentation. Winemakers also look for ways of using fermentation to introduce aroma and flavour diversity to their wines as a means of improving style and for product differentiation. Choice of wine yeast from the plethora of strains available to winemakers is one way of achieving this, particularly with the new breed of interspecific hybrid yeast strains currently being generated.
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