WineSeq, the wineries detective, is specialized in solving the most difficult cases of problems during the winemaking process. His first enigma is a fermentation issue with a yeast that modifies wine’s organoleptic profile. Will he discover more about it and solve the case? Do not miss this story!

It all starts at a small production and high-value winery that makes unique wines from a plot in Napa Valley. WineSeq detected a variation in the fermentation kinetics at the beginning of the spontaneous fermentation of a must located in a five-thousand-liter stainless steel tanks. His investigations led him to find acetic acid and an increase in acidity volatility to higher levels than initially parameterized. Another clue was the discovery of high levels of acetate 2-phenylethyl, a volatile that modifies wines’ organoleptic characteristics adding a smell like roses or honey and altering the original sensorial profile.

WineSeq performed his unfailing tests from the soil to the plant, the must and the fermentation process. The evidence was there: a remarkable presence of Hanseniaspora valbyensis was detected. This is an apiculate yeast whose presence is usually restricted to the first fermentative stages and whose impact on the sensory properties of wines is scarce. However, the Hanseniaspora strain detected withstood the fermentative conditions and participated in the later stages of the fermentation. This yeast was not found until the corresponding analysis was performed in the winery. WineSeq was able to determine the origin of the anomaly during the winemaking process and stop its possible effect on the winery’s machinery and facilities.

High concentrations of these yeast species in the early stages of fermentation allowed the detective to anticipate their negative effect on the wine’s taste. Thus, WineSeq and his tests in the must helped the winery make an appropriate decision about making spontaneous or inoculated fermentations with selected yeasts.