Dr Neil Jolly
ARC Infruitec Nietvoorbij, Stellenbosch
ARC and Winetech funded research identified a fructophilic Candida zemplinina (Starmerella bacillaris) yeast strain with the potential for lowering alcohol content in wine when used as a co-inoculant with a Saccharomyces cerevisiae wine yeast. The same yeast was previously found to be suitable for improvement of fermentation efficiency in a grape must with an initial glucose-fructose imbalance. However, before commercialisation can occur, the yeast needs to undergo further testing. This includes whether it can be produced in pilot-scale as an active dried yeast (ADY); the viability and shelf life of the yeast in the ADY form; whether it maintains the same characteristics as an ADY as it had in wet culture, and acceptance by the South African wine industry. A commercial company will attempt production on pilot scale in 2020 and if successful they will commence with winemaking trials.