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Tasting the terroir of wine yeast innovation.
FEMS Yeast Res. 2020 02 01; 20(1)FY

Abstract

Wine is an archetypal traditional fermented beverage with strong territorial and socio-cultural connotations. Its 7000 year history is patterned by a tradition of innovation. Every value-adding innovation - whether in the vineyard, winery, supply chain or marketplace - that led to the invention of a new tradition spurred progress and created a brighter future from past developments. In a way, wine traditions can be defined as remembered innovations from the distant past - inherited knowledge and wisdom that withstood the test of time. Therefore, it should not be assumed a priori that tradition and innovation are polar opposites. The relations between the forces driven by the anchors of tradition and the wings of innovation do not necessarily involve displacement, conflict or exclusiveness. Innovation can strengthen wine tradition, and the reinvention of a tradition-bound practice, approach or concept can foster innovation. In cases where a paradigm-shifting innovation disrupts a tradition, the process of such an innovation transitioning into a radically new tradition can become protracted while proponents of divergent opinions duke it out. Sometimes these conflicting opinions are based on fact, and sometimes not. The imperfections of such a debate between the 'ancients' and the 'moderns' can, from time to time, obscure the line between myth and reality. Therefore, finding the right balance between traditions worth keeping and innovations worth implementing can be complex. The intent here is to harness the creative tension between science fiction and science fact when innovation's first-principles challenge the status quo by re-examining the foundational principles about a core traditional concept, such as terroir. Poignant questions are raised about the importance of the terroir (biogeography) of yeasts and the value of the microbiome of grapes to wine quality. This article imagines a metaphorical terroir free from cognitive biases where diverse perspectives can converge to uncork the effervescent power of territorial yeast populations as well as 'nomadic' yeast starter cultures. At the same time, this paper also engages in mental time-travel. A future scenario is imagined, explored, tested and debated where terroir-less yeast avatars are equipped with designer genomes to safely and consistently produce, individually or in combination with region-specific wild yeasts and or other starter cultures, high-quality wine according to the preferences of consumers in a range of markets. The purpose of this review is to look beyond the horizon and to synthesize a link between what we know now and what could be. This article informs readers where to look without suggesting what they must see as a way forward. In the context of one of the world's oldest fermentation industries - steeped in a rich history of tradition and innovation - the mantra here is: respect the past, lead the present and secure the future of wine.

Authors+Show Affiliations

ARC Centre of Excellence in Synthetic Biology, Macquarie University, 19 Eastern Road, North Ryde, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia.

Pub Type(s)

Journal Article
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

Language

eng

PubMed ID

31830254

Citation

Pretorius, I S.. "Tasting the Terroir of Wine Yeast Innovation." FEMS Yeast Research, vol. 20, no. 1, 2020.
Pretorius IS. Tasting the terroir of wine yeast innovation. FEMS Yeast Res. 2020;20(1).
Pretorius, I. S. (2020). Tasting the terroir of wine yeast innovation. FEMS Yeast Research, 20(1). https://doi.org/10.1093/femsyr/foz084
Pretorius IS. Tasting the Terroir of Wine Yeast Innovation. FEMS Yeast Res. 2020 02 1;20(1) PubMed PMID: 31830254.
* Article titles in AMA citation format should be in sentence-case
TY - JOUR T1 - Tasting the terroir of wine yeast innovation. A1 - Pretorius,I S, PY - 2019/11/11/received PY - 2019/11/27/accepted PY - 2019/12/13/pubmed PY - 2019/12/13/medline PY - 2019/12/13/entrez KW - Saccharomyces cerevisiae KW - avatar yeast KW - biogeography KW - microbial terroir KW - microbiome KW - non-Saccharomyces KW - synthetic genomics KW - wine yeast KW - yeastome JF - FEMS yeast research JO - FEMS Yeast Res. VL - 20 IS - 1 N2 - Wine is an archetypal traditional fermented beverage with strong territorial and socio-cultural connotations. Its 7000 year history is patterned by a tradition of innovation. Every value-adding innovation - whether in the vineyard, winery, supply chain or marketplace - that led to the invention of a new tradition spurred progress and created a brighter future from past developments. In a way, wine traditions can be defined as remembered innovations from the distant past - inherited knowledge and wisdom that withstood the test of time. Therefore, it should not be assumed a priori that tradition and innovation are polar opposites. The relations between the forces driven by the anchors of tradition and the wings of innovation do not necessarily involve displacement, conflict or exclusiveness. Innovation can strengthen wine tradition, and the reinvention of a tradition-bound practice, approach or concept can foster innovation. In cases where a paradigm-shifting innovation disrupts a tradition, the process of such an innovation transitioning into a radically new tradition can become protracted while proponents of divergent opinions duke it out. Sometimes these conflicting opinions are based on fact, and sometimes not. The imperfections of such a debate between the 'ancients' and the 'moderns' can, from time to time, obscure the line between myth and reality. Therefore, finding the right balance between traditions worth keeping and innovations worth implementing can be complex. The intent here is to harness the creative tension between science fiction and science fact when innovation's first-principles challenge the status quo by re-examining the foundational principles about a core traditional concept, such as terroir. Poignant questions are raised about the importance of the terroir (biogeography) of yeasts and the value of the microbiome of grapes to wine quality. This article imagines a metaphorical terroir free from cognitive biases where diverse perspectives can converge to uncork the effervescent power of territorial yeast populations as well as 'nomadic' yeast starter cultures. At the same time, this paper also engages in mental time-travel. A future scenario is imagined, explored, tested and debated where terroir-less yeast avatars are equipped with designer genomes to safely and consistently produce, individually or in combination with region-specific wild yeasts and or other starter cultures, high-quality wine according to the preferences of consumers in a range of markets. The purpose of this review is to look beyond the horizon and to synthesize a link between what we know now and what could be. This article informs readers where to look without suggesting what they must see as a way forward. In the context of one of the world's oldest fermentation industries - steeped in a rich history of tradition and innovation - the mantra here is: respect the past, lead the present and secure the future of wine. SN - 1567-1364 UR - https://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/31830254/Tasting_the_terroir_of_wine_yeast_innovation L2 - https://academic.oup.com/femsyr/article-lookup/doi/10.1093/femsyr/foz084 DB - PRIME DP - Unbound Medicine ER -
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