Dr. Bisson using that expert nose
A winemaking yeast strain invented by a UC Davis researcher that removes the sulfur odor in wines has been patented and is undergoing development and marketing around the world and locally.
The non-genetically modified yeast was developed by Linda Bisson of the UCD department of viticulture and enology and is being marketed in partnership with Vancouver-based Renaissance BioScience Corp.
Local winemakers have heard of the new yeast and could be using the strain to make wine as early as this summer’s harvest, and some larger winemakers already have begun to use the new yeast in blends.
The yeast strain, used in fermentation to make wine, was bred through traditional methods to select for a new yeast that produces less hydrogen sulfide, which has an undesirable rotten egg smell, Bisson said. Even at low levels, hydrogen sulfide can mute the desired fruit characteristics of wines.