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Fermentis is part of the Lesaffre Group and they develop, manufacture and market fermentation and characterization solutions for the beverage industry, primarily yeast and bacteria. Their mission is to help brewers, winemakers, distillers, and other manufacturers to express their innovation and creativity.

Fermentis has supported Bragato Research Institute as Gold sponsor of the Research Winery since 2020. The Winery provides research winemaking at a scale and degree of experimental control not previously possible in New Zealand, allowing companies to test innovations and try new techniques.

Fermentis has also utilised the Research Winery for yeast trials over several vintages. In one of their trials, Fermentis and the Bragato Research Institute evaluated the efficacy of two Fermentis yeasts on Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc’s subsequent wine quality and typicity.

They aimed to help winemakers further develop their wine portfolio, with a new balance between fruit, aroma, depth and structure.

Sauvignon Blanc makes up to 73% of New Zealand’s wine. Extremely aromatic, it commonly asserts strong gooseberry and capsicum characteristics, with tropical and passionfruit overtones. Other common notes can include grapefruit, lime, cut grass, and tomato stalks.

The Research Winery has custom fermentation tanks with four 17-litre tanks to house four individual fermentations, all controlled under the same conditions.

The micro-vinifications made at BRI were evaluated through sensorial analysis (17 professional tasters engaged) and have been complemented respectively by the qualitative and quantitative analyses of the higher alcohols, esters and thiols.

The results clearly showed distinctive aromatic and sensorial profiles brought by each yeast. Look at the Principal Component Analyses (PCA) on sensory attributes and thiols below.


SAFOENOTM CK S102: clearly oriented on acetate esters including the 3-MHA (passion fruit notes) (respectively +134% to +149% more than the reference strain and SafOEnoTM SH-12) and also on the 3-MH (grapefruit notes) (~same as the reference strain but +41% vs SafOEnoTM SH-12) which is illustrated by a higher aromatic intensity on global fruitiness, especially citrus notes.

The well-known roundness from this yeast is also highlighted, giving more balance and persistence in the mouth. On the contrary, SafOEnoTM CK S102 is not producing any 4-MMP, thus leaving “green” notes apart (boxwood, herbaceous).

SAFOENOTM SH 12: produces a well-balanced benchmark of subtle aromas as ethyl esters and the complete range of thiols, even if slightly below the reference strain (~-25% of each 3-MH and 4-MMP). This aromatic production, in addition to the acidity maintenance, creates a fresh, elegant and complex Sauvignon Blanc.

REFERENCE STRAIN: oriented on the production of higher alcohols and with a strong release and conversion of thiols. This yeast was best rated on stone fruit, tropical and boxwood, the two latter descriptors being the most typical for standard NZ Sauvignon Blanc, thus assuming its position on the market!


Fermentis has conducted much research around the world with our yeasts and fermentation solutions for winemakers, make sure you stop by their stand (WP44) at WinePro on 25-27 June to chat with the team.

Check out Fermentis’ range for winemakers here.

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