A major role of the AWRI Wine Microorganism Culture Collection (AWMCC) is to maintain a world-class repository of diverse, wine-relevant strains of yeast and bacteria that can be readily accessed by Australian wine producers and for research purposes. The collection, containing over 2,000 strains, has been built over decades with inputs from Australian wineries, microbial strain development programs at the AWRI, and by sourcing reference strains from other culture collections. The AWMCC is a very valuable resource to Australian wine producers, and is mined by the AWRI to isolate yeast strains that have novel characteristics of importance to winemakers.
The AWRI Wine Microorganism Culture Collection is a member of the World Federation of Culture Collections and with other Australian microorganism collections has recently become part of the Atlas of Living Australia.
As an example, within the AWMCC, there are 11 experimental yeast strains that, over recent years, have been available to Australian winemakers to perform commercial-scale fermentation trials. Information received from these trials augments the AWRI knowledge base and helps to develop a detailed overview on the potential of these yeast strains for commercial release to the broader wine sector. Five of these experimental yeast strains are now commercially available through yeast supply companies.
Most yeast and bacterial strains in the collection will be provided on request to Australian wineries, research institutions in Australia and overseas, Australian teaching institutions and commercial companies. All strains are provided as live cultures on agar slopes. Provision of all cultures, except experimental strains, incurs a modest fee to cover costs of materials. Yeast and bacterial strains can also be deposited into the AWRI collection; several Australian wineries have taken advantage of this service, with one large Australian winery depositing their entire yeast and bacterial collections into the AWMCC.
Non-Australian wineries wishing to trial AWRI yeast strains should enquire about costs, terms and conditions (click here to make an enquiry).
- Most of the 2000+ yeast and bacteria strains include reference strains, winery isolates and research and experimental strains are available.
- Winery yeast and bacteria strains can be stored in the collection for safe preservation and easy access.
What this means for grapegrowers and winemakers
- Any Australian wine producer can deposit yeast and bacterial strains into the collection at no cost; from one strain to hundreds of strains.
- Winemakers can use various experimental yeast strains (Saccharomyces and non-Saccharomyces strains) for trialing in their own wines.
Project leader: Dr Eveline Bartowsky
Project team members:
Bartowsky, E. (2008) The AWRI wine microorganism culture collection: a treasure trove of yeast and bacteria strains for the future. Aust. NZ Grapegrower Winemaker 537: 101-103 (click here to order).