Lachancea thermotolerans is a yeast species that works as a powerful bio tool capable of metabolizing grape sugars into lactic acid via lactate dehydrogenase enzymes. The enological impact is an increase in total acidity and a decrease in pH levels (sometimes >0.5 pH units) with a concomitant slight reduction in alcohol (0.2–0.4% vol.), which helps balance freshness in wines from warm areas. In addition, higher levels of molecular SO2 are favored, which helps to decrease SO2 total content and achieve better antioxidant and antimicrobial performance. The simultaneous use with some apiculate yeast species of the genus Hanseniaspora helps to improve the aromatic profile through the production of acetyl esters and, in some cases, terpenes, which makes the wine aroma more complex, enhancing floral and fruity scents and making more complex and fresh wines. Furthermore, many species of Hanseniaspora increase the structure of wines, thus improving their body and palatability. Ternary fermentations with Lachancea thermotolerans and Hanseniaspora spp. sequentially followed by Saccharomyces cerevisiae are a useful bio tool for producing fresher wines from neutral varieties in warm areas.
Part of the book: Grapes and Wine