During the wine manufacturing process, there are two steps of fermentation, first alcoholic fermentation then malolactic fermentation. During alcoholic fermentation, yeast will transform sugar into alcohol. Before fermentation, Saccharomyces is present in the grape juice, as well as non Saccharomyces yeasts, like Brettanomyces bruxellensis. After alcoholic fermentation, B. bruxellensis can still be present in the matrix. This is an important issue as it has been shown that the growth of B. bruxellensis is linked to the concentration of 4-ethylphenol. When present in the wine, ethyl phenols will give a strong off taste leading to consumer rejection of the wine. In order to avoid wine spoilage with 4-ethylphenol by B. bruxellensis, some preventative actions can be taken such as racking, clarification, and sulfiting. However when the wine has already been spoiled, the wine maker will have to add additional manufacturing steps such as filtration or heat treatment, increasing its production cost. If the concentration of ethylphenol is too high the lot may be destroyed.
Bio-Rad has developed a new tool for the sensitive, selective, and rapid quantification of B. bruxellensis. The VINEO Brettanomy monitors Brettanomyces bruxellensis risk. The VINEO method is based on real-time PCR technology and is divided in two simple steps, DNA extraction followed by detection and quantification of the yeast. Current microbiology culture methods can take 7-14 days before results are available, whereas results with the VINEO kit are available the same day of analysis. Software will automatically give an easy interpretation of the results.