Submission Title

Exploring Yeast Diversity at Brick House Vineyards, a Biodynamic Vineyard in Newberg, Oregon

Location

Jereld R. Nicholson Library: Grand Avenue

Subject Area

Biology

Description

Yeasts are the foundation of the winemaking process. During fermentation, oxygen-deprived yeast will convert sugars from the grapes into alcohol. Many winemakers add commercially cultured strains of yeast to their grape must to drive primary fermentation, but biodynamic vineyards rely on naturally occurring yeasts that are already present on the grapes. Though there is a growing body of research into the impact of microbiomes, diverse microbial communities, on the winemaking process, little work has been done to explore what organisms drive primary fermentation in wineries that only use naturally occurring yeasts. Understanding this microbial terroir is crucial to understanding what makes each vineyard unique. To begin to characterize the diversity of yeasts and other fungi that go into a unique biodynamic wine, we sampled a variety of locations in the vineyard and winery of Brick House Vineyard, located in the Ribbon Ridge AVA (American Viticultural Association) in Newberg, Oregon. We sampled pinot noir, chardonnay, and gamay noir grapes from the vineyard 1-2 weeks prior to harvest, along with soil from the vineyard, oak tree bark from the vineyard, wasps from the vineyard, soil from near the winery, and the walls of the winery. We also took samples of grape must/juice of all three varietals at the beginning, middle, and end of primary fermentation. DNA was extracted from all samples. A fungal-specific fragment of this DNA was amplified and sequenced, and the resulting data was analyzed to determine the identities and abundances of all yeast and other fungi in each sample. These data presented on the poster allow us to see both the unique community of yeasts and other fungi that go into these wines, and to begin to see patterns of diversity from the vineyard into the winery.

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May 17th, 9:30 AM May 17th, 11:00 AM

Exploring Yeast Diversity at Brick House Vineyards, a Biodynamic Vineyard in Newberg, Oregon

Jereld R. Nicholson Library: Grand Avenue

Yeasts are the foundation of the winemaking process. During fermentation, oxygen-deprived yeast will convert sugars from the grapes into alcohol. Many winemakers add commercially cultured strains of yeast to their grape must to drive primary fermentation, but biodynamic vineyards rely on naturally occurring yeasts that are already present on the grapes. Though there is a growing body of research into the impact of microbiomes, diverse microbial communities, on the winemaking process, little work has been done to explore what organisms drive primary fermentation in wineries that only use naturally occurring yeasts. Understanding this microbial terroir is crucial to understanding what makes each vineyard unique. To begin to characterize the diversity of yeasts and other fungi that go into a unique biodynamic wine, we sampled a variety of locations in the vineyard and winery of Brick House Vineyard, located in the Ribbon Ridge AVA (American Viticultural Association) in Newberg, Oregon. We sampled pinot noir, chardonnay, and gamay noir grapes from the vineyard 1-2 weeks prior to harvest, along with soil from the vineyard, oak tree bark from the vineyard, wasps from the vineyard, soil from near the winery, and the walls of the winery. We also took samples of grape must/juice of all three varietals at the beginning, middle, and end of primary fermentation. DNA was extracted from all samples. A fungal-specific fragment of this DNA was amplified and sequenced, and the resulting data was analyzed to determine the identities and abundances of all yeast and other fungi in each sample. These data presented on the poster allow us to see both the unique community of yeasts and other fungi that go into these wines, and to begin to see patterns of diversity from the vineyard into the winery.