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10 Common Wine Additives

        Lifestyle | Wine Facts

9
Yeast
Yeast is added during fermentation, which is also when wine is "pumped" from the bottom of the fermentation tank to the top.
Yeast is added during fermentation, which is also when wine is "pumped" from the bottom of the fermentation tank to the top.
Lester Lefkowitz/Getty Images

Yeasts are a critical ingredient in the winemaking process, since they do the actual work of converting the sugar in grapes to alcohol through the process known as fermentation. Naturally occurring airborne yeasts, known to winemakers as ambient yeasts, can be found everywhere, and while any of them will convert sugar to alcohol, not all of them will work at the same rate or produce the desired effect. For this reason, many winemakers use sulfites to kill any ambient yeast, then add strains of specially cultured wine yeasts to build the desired flavors and textures in the finished wine. Unlike ambient yeasts, the cultured yeast strains behave in a reliable and predictable way, ensuring that the vintner can reproduce the same results in batch after batch.


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