Brettanomyces

Posted on March 10, 2017

Author: Lamar Engel

Date: 4/20/2015

A spoilage yeast often referred to as ‘Brett”. It is common in most parts of the world and at lower concentrations can impart notes that some feel add to the complexity of a red wine. These aromas are variously described as ‘barnyard’ or ‘smoke’. At higher concentrations, however, they can turn medicinal or metallic and mask fruit flavors. The level of infection can increase substantially after bottling, making the yeast a source of great anxiety for winemakers. It has become of more concern in recent years as the fashion for a longer hang time for grapes in the vineyard containing lower acidity and correspondingly higher pH is a hot bed for this organism. Attitudes against additives in wine have led to lower Sulfur Dioxide use, which helps stabilize the environment from spore growth of these bacteria.