In young wines, the compounds responsible for wine flavor come from two possible origins: grapes and microorganisms involved in winemaking. Yeasts play the most important role in flavor influence because of their role in conducting the alcoholic fermentation (FA), the key process of winemaking. Ecological studies show that yeast diversity is significantly influenced by geographical and technological features of each particular winegrowing region. Wines from Argentine have achieved high-quality certifications, and particularly, in the Comahue region, wine production is mainly oriented to young red wines varieties, some of which found in this region optimal ecological condition to express all their enological potential. Despite this, the need to satisfy the demands of an increasingly competitive and globalized international market and the consumer demand for new wine styles with the best quality/price ratio imposes the regional productive sector new challenges that require technological innovation. The use of starter cultures developed from indigenous yeast isolated from our region, specially selected for its enological properties, appears as a valuable tool for differentiation, diversification, and quality improvement of wines. In this context, conventional and non-conventional yeasts were isolated and selected over the years and used for vinifications in red grape varieties (Pinot noir and Malbec). Assays were carried out at laboratory and pilot scale, in the 2010–2015 vintages. The experiences developed along the years contribute to a better understanding of the processes involved in the production of improved wines by autochthonous strains, an important practice to develop a more competitive regional wine industry.
Part of the book: Grape and Wine Biotechnology