Wine is produced by one of two methods: inoculated fermentation, where a commerciallyproduced, single Saccharomyces cerevisiae (S. cerevisiae) yeast strain is used; or the traditional spontaneous fermentation, where yeast present on grape and winery surfaces carry out the fermentative process. Spontaneous fermentations are characterized by a diverse succession of yeast, ending with one or multiple strains of S. cerevisiae dominating the fermentation. In wineries using both fermentation methods, commercial strains may dominate spontaneous fermentations. We elucidate the impact of the winery environment and commercial strain use on S. cerevisiae population structure in spontaneous fermentations over two vintages by comparing S. cerevisiae populations in aseptically fermented grapes from a Canadian Pinot Noir vineyard to S. cerevisiae populations in winery-conducted fermentations of grapes from the same vineyard. We also characterize the vineyard-associated S. cerevisiae populations in two other geographically separate Pinot Noir vineyards farmed by the same winery. Winery fermentations were not dominated by commercial strains, but by a diverse number of strains with genotypes similar to commercial strains, suggesting that a population of S. cerevisiae derived from commercial strains is resident in the winery. Commercial and commercial-related yeast were also identified in the three vineyards examined, although at a lower frequency. There is low genetic differentiation and S. cerevisiae population structure between vineyards and between the vineyard and winery that persisted over both vintages, indicating commercial yeast are a driver of S. cerevisiae population structure. We also have evidence of distinct and persistent populations of winery and vineyard-associated S. cerevisiae populations unrelated to commercial strains. This study is the first to characterize S. cerevisiae populations in Canadian vineyards.
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