Universitat Rovira i Virgili

Model guided evolution for balanced attenuation of wine ethanol content by devloping non-GMO yeast strains and communities

Wine is the principal EU agricultural export. Between 2009 and 2014, the average annual production of wine in the EU was 167 million hectolitres.

It accounts for 45% of world wine-growing areas, 65% of production, 57% of global consumption and 70% of exports in global terms. According to Comité Européen des Entreprises Vins, and the European Commission, annual European exports amount to €8.9 billion, and yearly contribute with more than €6 billion to a positive effect of the EU trade balance.  Since the eighties, every ten years the alcohol level in commercial wines gained almost 1%, with a total increase of around 3% ABV (alcohol by volume). This trend is common to all types of wines, and producing regions. The problem is related in part to climate change and consequent faster grape ripening. The general CoolWine objective is developing non-GMO wine yeast starters and utilization conditions that would allow reducing alcohol content of wines by 3-4% ABV, as compared to standard wine fermentation conditions. Some objectives in CoolWine are related with social impact of the research: Mapping possible impact of the project in the community, and identification of stakeholders. Optimize positive impacts of CoolWine and minimize negative ones. Identify criteria for CoolWine product acceptability and articulate the ethos of the GMO-free pipeline.