Pinot noir has traditionally been fermented by native flora of multiple yeasts producing a complex combination of aromas and flavors. With the use of industrial dry yeasts, winemakers gained enological reliability and consistency in their wines, but lost diversity and complexity. This research evaluated the use of co-culturing yeasts to fulfill this dual role. Fermentations of Burgundian Saccharomyces cerevisiae
isolates and their mixtures were evaluated for their enological characteristics and production of volatile compounds, at 22 °C and 27 °C. The novel isolates were genetically unique and enologically equivalent to the industrial strains. Analysis of variance and principal component analysis of 25 headspace volatiles revealed differences among the yeasts and between the fermentation temperatures. Wines from the mixed-Burgundian isolates were most similar to one another and could be differentiated from the industrial strains at both 22 °C and 27 °C. Mixed-Burgundian wines at both temperatures had higher concentrations of ethyl esters and acetate esters, compared to the industrial strains which had higher concentrations of higher alcohols at 27 °C and higher concentration of other ethyl esters at 22 °C. Given the unique profiles of the co-cultured wines, this research offers winemakers a strategy for producing wines with unique and more complex characters without the risk of spontaneous fermentations.
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