Breakthrough research from Lallemand Oenology and the INRA: The First Wine Yeast to Naturally Produce Lower Alcohol Wines

TOULOUSE, France, June 23, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - The result of collaborative research by Lallemand Oenology and the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA), in Montpellier, France, this new, non-GMO Saccharomyces cerevisiae wine yeast is capable of producing lower alcohol levels in wine and with no production of undesirable compounds.

Lower level of alcohol and no undesirable compounds

This particular wine yeast is the first in the Saccharomyces cerevisiae species to be selected for its low rate of sugar to alcohol conversion. For example, in a wine with a potential alcohol level of 15.8% (v/v), this wine yeast produces a wine with 1.3 degrees of alcohol less than all other the wine yeasts utilized, and compensates by producing more glycerol – a desired natural metabolite that increases the sensation of fullness in the wine. Interestingly, this wine yeast does not produce such undesirable compounds as acetoin and the acetate level is particularly low. During wine trials, this new wine yeast maintained the overall quality of the wine produced.

The selection method was described as adaptive evolution, which is the selection of natural yeast with desired characteristics. There is a patent pending for Method for obtaining low ethanol-producing yeast strains, yeast strains obtained therefrom and their use (January 2014, 55729550-2EP).

The production of this innovative yeast – a real challenge

The challenge is now to produce this yeast to make it available to winemakers. Lallemand and his team of Process Development have extensive expertise in the optimization of yeast production of many species and with different needs. We therefore undertook the development of the production process of this innovative wine yeast ensuring that it maintains its remarkable properties during winemaking,  a step prior to its official launch in the wine industry. An announcement will be made ​​when the yeast is commercially available

Market for low alcohol wines

Nowadays, global warming, viticultural practices and vine selection tend to produce wine with higher alcohol levels. However, the market is currently oriented towards beverages with moderate alcohol content, in line with public prevention policies, consumer health issues and preferences. Moreover, as some countries impose taxes on the alcohol content, it raises economic issues. High levels of alcohol can also alter the sensory quality of wines by increasing the perception of hotness and, to a lesser extent, by decreasing the perception of sweetness, acidity and aroma. Consequently, reducing the ethanol content of wine at various steps of the winemaking process has been a major focus of winemaking research. One of the most attractive and least expensive options is to use yeasts that produce less alcohol from the same amount of sugar, such as this new wine yeast.

This breakthrough research was published by the INRA team led by Dr. Sylvie Dequin in the scientific journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology under the title "Reduction of ethanol yield and improvement of glycerol formation by adaptive evolution of the wine yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae under hyperosmotic conditions", and the research was also discussed in a research highlight in Evolutionary Applications

About Lallemand

Lallemand – a leading producer of wine yeast and bacteria selected from nature, and their nutrients, and a distributor of oenological enzymes – is a privately owned Canadian corporation with divisions operating around the world. The Oenology Division, based in Toulouse, France, has a major focus on research and development, both in-house and in collaboration with renowned research institutes.

About the INRA

The INRA (the French National Institute for Agricultural Research) is a mission-oriented public research institute under the supervision of the French Ministries for Research and Agriculture, and carries out research in the fields of agriculture, food and the environment. The INRA aims at ensuring healthy and high-quality food, competitive and sustainable agriculture and an environment that is preserved and developed. The INRA conducts its research on wine and oenology in its own vineyards, on its experimental plots or in laboratories based in the heart of French wine regions, as close as possible to players in this industry. For more information, go to


SOURCE: Lallemand

For further information: Source: Lallemand Oenology; Contact: Ann Dumont, 514 826-9046,


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