Characterization of Saccharomyces Strains Isolated from “Kéknyelű” Grape Must and Their Potential for Wine Production

Gerőcs, Annamária; Nagy, Tibor; Nemes-Barnás, Katalin; Májer, János; Szőke, Barna Árpád; Kővágó, Róbert; Magalhães, Frederico; Gibson, Brian; Szekeres, András; Juhász, Ákos; Posta, Katalin; Olasz, Ferenc

FG Brauwesen

Novel wine yeast strains have the potential to satisfy customer demand for new sensorial experiences and to ensure that wine producers have strains that can produce wine as efficiently as possible. In this respect, hybrid yeast strains have recently been the subject of intense research, as they are able to combine the favourable characteristics of both parental strains. In this study, two Saccharomyces “Kéknyelű” grape juice isolates were identified by species-specific PCR and PCR-RFLP methods and investigated with respect to their wine fermentation potential. Physiological characterization of the isolated strains was performed and included assessment of ethanol, sulphur dioxide, temperature and glucose (osmotic stress) tolerance, killer-toxin production, glucose fermentation ability at 16 °C and 24 °C, and laboratory-scale fermentation using sterile “Kéknyelű” must. Volatile components of the final product were studied by gas chromatography (GC) and mass spectrometry (MS). One isolate was identified as a S. cerevisiae × S. kudriavzevii hybrid and the other was S. cerevisiae. Both strains were characterized by high ethanol, sulphur dioxide and glucose tolerance, and the S. cerevisiae strain exhibited the killer phenotype. The hybrid isolate showed good glucose fermentation ability and achieved the lowest residual sugar content in wine. The ester production of the hybrid strain was high compared to the control S. cerevisiae starter strain, and this contributed to the fruity aroma of the wine. Both strains have good oenological characteristics, but only the hybrid yeast has the potential for use in wine fermentation.