Wine microorganism culture collection

The Collection

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 researchers. The collection, currently containing over 4,000 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 for Australian wine producers, and is mined by the AWRI to isolate yeast and bacterial strains that have novel characteristics of importance to winemakers.

The AWMCC is a member of the World Federation of Culture Collections (WFFCC), part of the Atlas of Living Australia ( and AMRiN (Australian Microbial Resources Information Network). The AWMCC is supported by Australian wine producers through funding by Wine Australia. For quality assurance, internationally recognised best practices following OECD guidelines are used by the AWMCC, thereby ensuring a high level of confidence in the services provided to the wine industry and researchers.

Microbial strains available to the Australian wine industry

Included in the AWMCC are winery isolates, reference strains and research strains. Most yeast and bacterial strains in the collection will be provided on request to Australian wineries.

Australian wineries can request winemaking strains and more information is available here.

Depositing yeast and bacterial strains into the AWMCC

There are several advantages to depositing and storing yeast and bacterial strains in the AWMCC rather than storing them yourself. These include: reduced expenses, maintenance of deposited strains by expert microbiology staff in appropriate storage conditions and free access to your strains.

The AWMCC provides a secure storage facility for microorganisms. Any wine-associated yeast and bacterial strains can be deposited into the collection.

Many peer-reviewed scientific journals now require that all strains used in a published study be deposited in a recognised culture collection; the AWMCC fulfils this role.

Research organisations can deposit strains or their microbial collection into the AWMCC.

AWMCC staff can assist with the isolation and identification of your yeast and bacterial strains.

Terms and conditions for deposition and storage of microbial strains in the AWMCC will be managed through a Material Transfer Agreement (MTA).

Microbial strains for research

The majority of strains housed in the collection are available for research. For more information about depositing strains into the AWMCC, please contact Angus Forgan (

Microbial strains for teaching institutions

The AWMCC includes all wine related yeast and bacterial genera and species which can be used for teaching purposes. A Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) will be provided for all strains. Australian teaching institutions wishing to request strains, please contact

Reference strains for quality assurance

The AWMCC can provide reference strains for quality assurance testing in the laboratory. Strains for wine-associated yeast and bacteria species and other food-related microorganisms are available.

Services provided by the Wine Microorganism Culture Collection

  • Providing yeast and bacterial strains for winemaking, research and quality assurance
  • A secure facility to deposit and store yeast and bacterial strains
  • Assistance with identifying yeast and bacterial strains

The Culture Collection Team

The AWMCC is managed by Angus Forgan and Simon Dillon.

For further information contact or 08 8313 6600.

Fees for yeast and bacterial strains

All strains are provided as live cultures on agar slopes. Assistance with propagation of yeast and bacterial strains from agar slope to a starter culture can be provided.

Distribution of cultures, cost per strain

  • Australian grape and wine levy payers – $50.00
  • Non-levy payers – $90.00
  • Australian teaching institutions – $50.00
  • Outside of Australia – $90.00

All fees are in Australian Dollars (AUD), and exclude GST, and postage/courier costs.

A Material Transfer Agreement (MTA) will be provided for all strains prior to distribution. Terms and Conditions apply.


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 view abstract or order a copy of the article).

Forgan, A., Dillon, S. 2017. The AWRI Wine Microorganism Culture Collection. Tech. Rev. 231: 12-15. Available here.