Wine’s dark secret: it’s all in the fungi
Being a winemaker is a specialised calling, requiring intimate knowledge of soil composition, seasons and weather, chemistry, flavour, even marketing and sales.
Yet, the distinctive bouquet and flavour of a Chablis or Chardonnay could not be achieved without the input of a brainless, single-celled organism, claims a new study.
The previously overlooked vintner, a type of yeast called Saccharomyces Cerevisiae, reportedly makes a “small but significant” contribution to a wine’s flavour and taste, scientists reported in the journal Scientific Reports.
This makes the fungus a key to that enigmatic wine concept ‘terroir’ — everything from the soil, topography, climate and agricultural processes that go into producing your favourite Bordeaux. “I was surprised that we detected any signal at all from these
Yet, the distinctive bouquet and flavour of a Chablis or Chardonnay could not be achieved without the input of a brainless, single-celled organism, claims a new study
geographically different yeast populations in the aroma profile of the wine — I thought we would not,” co-author Matthew Goddard of the University of Lincoln in England said. “The signal is small, but detectable,” he said. Geographic differences in wines were previously ascribed mainly to plant genetics, local soil and climate, and farming methods. “The idea that microbes might play a role in terroir is new, and we think this is the first time that it has been experimentally shown that this is the case,” said Goddard.