Microbiology Is ... Better Wine Production
ASM member Dimitris Tsaltas explains how he uses microbiology to help his partners in the Cyprus wine industry improve their wines.
What's the Issue?Wine is big business: in 2019, producers shipped more than 3.6 million liters (enough to fill 91,000 bath tubs) in the United States alone, with global sales topping $364 billion. Every step of the winemaking process, from grape growing to fermentation to bottling, inherently relies on microbial scientific techniques. Yet only in the past few decades have winemakers looked to microbiologists as collaborators and partners who can help improve their products (and their profit margins). Facing an increasingly competitive market and the existential threat of climate change, winemakers will increasingly require the expertise and knowledge of microbiologists in order to develop novel yeast and grape strains, as well as refine growing and processing conditions, that will allow their wines to prosper.
How To Get Involved
For microbiologists, the appeal of collaborating with winemakers goes beyond a tasty final product. The fields of oenology and viticulture offer abundant research topics and funding opportunities. Follow the links below to learn about ways to get involved: