Why do we use different yeast for individual grape varietals
What kind of yeast do you use to make your wines?
The basic job of yeast is to convert the sugars into alcohol. After years of experimentation, it’s been found that each strain of yeast has its own enzymatic interaction with the grapes and produces its own flavors during fermentation. Fermentation, from the yeasts perspective, is merely the digestion of food. They consume and process sugars and produce alcohol and carbon dioxide as their byproduct. Some yeast strains may use more or less enzymes or esters and it’s these small differences in digestion that account for different flavor profiles. When a winemaker approaches fermentation, they choose a yeast that has a history of bringing out the flavors that match the type of grape varietal. For example, the right yeast will bring out the cocoa and black pepper in a Syrah. Certain combinations of grape and yeast are pretty magical.