Study of the ecology of spontaneous fermentations in 11 wineries of the D.O.Ca. Rioja

Spontaneous fermentation is the most traditional way and a low-intervention method for conducting alcoholic fermentation in wineries, giving rise to the most complex wine profiles. However, inoculation with single culture inocula of Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains has become widespread in the modern wine industry.Nevertheless, some authors have pointed out that the use of the same yeasts in all the winegrowing regions of the world can cause a loss of typicity and have astandardizing effect on the wines. For this reason, many wineries and regions are carrying out programs of isolation and selection of yeasts that are typical of theirvineyards/wineries. The aim of this work was to study the ecology of spontaneous fermentations in 11 wineries from all over the Rioja qualified designation of origin (Spain) during 3–4 consecutive years in order to establish the existence of typical strains belonging to wineries, sub-zones, or regional ecosystems. The results obtained showed a great diversity of strains of Saccharomyces cerevisiae in each fermentation studied. These strains were different each year in each winery, and hardly any common strains were detected between neighboring wineries, which would indicate that there are no representative strains from the winery or the área.


Biodiversity of Saccharomyces cerevisiae Yeasts in Spontaneous Alcoholic Fermentations: Typical Cellar or Zone Strains?

Pilar Santamaría, Rosa López, Maria del Patrocinio Garijo, Rocío Escribano, Lucía González-Arenzana, Isabel López-Alfaro and Ana Rosa Gutiérrez