School for Viticulture and Enology

Wine Microbiology

This course is part of the programme:
Bachelor's programme in Viticulture and Enology (1st level)

Objectives and competences

The aim of the course is to get knowledge about different

microorganisms occuring from vine to wine in different wine making technologies and grape processing to must and wine along with all their positive (fermentation) and negative (spoilage) activities.

Under the frame of practical qualifications she/he will become aquatinted with basic points, important for the microbiology management in the bioprocesses of wine formation in preservation of its suitable quality.


Knowledge of plant biology, plant physiology and general microbiology.

Content (Syllabus outline)

Musts’ characteristics regarding the positive and negative influence of microorganisms

Microorganisms associated with the vineyard, grapes, must and wine. General characteristics of development of microbial population, as well as positive as negative micro-flora.

Taxonomic and metabolic overview of grape and wine associated microorganisms (like species belonging to genera Saccharomyces, Kloeckera, Hansenula, Pichia, Brettanomyces /Dekkera, Metschnikowia, Torulaspora, Debaryomyces, Saccharomycodes, Zygosaccharomyces, Candida, Botrytis…; acetic and lactic acid bacteria), and their characteristics, important for the wine production.

Vinification and winery processing:

- managing microbial growth,

- microbial ecology during vinification,

- harvest and pre-fermentation processing,

- fermentation and post-fermentation processing: alcoholic fermentation, malolactic fermentation, spontaneous fermentations, preparation of starter cultures, strain selection, fermentation problems like stuck fermentation and H2S production, post-fermentation processing (aging, storage), bottling

Winery cleaning and sanitizing.

The conclusions about the wine fault sources will be made based on the symptoms of the spoilage basis or by the determination of the microorganisms presence. Prevention of undesirable microorganisms activity and HACCP.

Wine spoilage:

- spoilage microorganisms: Acetobacter, Dekkera/ Brettanomyces, film yeasts, Saccharomycodes, Zygosaccharomyces

- wine faults: volatile acidity, ethyl carbamate, mousiness, post-MLF bacterial growth, geranium odor/ tone, biogenic amines, acrolein, mannitol, ropiness…

Standards processes of wine making.

Traditional processes of wine making

Special wine production with secondary fermentation with yeasts on the wine surface area (Sherry), yeasts in wine – must (Tokay), with alcoholisation (Port)

Other desert wines technologies

late harvest, Prošek, Madeira, others

Wine faults diagnosis as microbiological spoilage


Determination of the wine impurities (bacteria, yeasts, ..),

spoilage diagnosis, microbiological stability tests, presentation of the sensory changes of the wine due to spoilage microorganisms or different yeasts.

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

- Various microorganisms from vine to wine

- Different technologies of production from the microbiological point of view (positive and negative impacts and acivities)

- Management of microbiology in wine fermentation

- Microbiological stability of wine

- Microbiological spoilage of wine

- Microbiological stabilization in wine production

- Microbiological analyzes and microbiological innovations in wine production


Fugelsang, K. C. in Edwards, C. G. 2010. Wine Microbiology: Practical Applications and Procedures/. Springer: 393 str.

Ribereau-Gayon, P., Dubourdieu, D., Doneche, B., Lonvaud, A. 2007. Handbook of Enology (Volume 1): The Microbiology of Wine and Vinifications. Wiley: 497 str.

Samson, R.A., Houbraken, J., Thrane, U., Frisvad, J.C., Andersen. 2010. Food and Indoor Fungi. CBS-KNAW: 390 str.

Iland, P., Grbin, P., Grinbergs, M., Schmidtke, L., Soden, A. 2007. Microbiological analysis of grapes and wine: techniques and concepts. Patrick Iland Wine Promotions Pty Ltd.: 120 str.


Lab work is a prerequisite condition to approach the exam

Lecturer's references

Lecturer is assistant professor for the field of Microbiology at University of Nova Gorica.

Selected publications:

1. SIVILOTTI, Paolo, BUTINAR, Lorena, STERNAD LEMUT, Melita. Leaf removal treatments as affecting Botrytis Cinerea occurance on Pinot Gris grapes from North Eastern Italy : results over four years of trials. V: QUEIROZ, Jorge (ur.). Proceedings, (Ciência e técnica vitivinícola, ISSN 0254-0223, vol. 28). Dois Porto: Estação vitivinícola nacional, 2013, vol. 28, tom. 1, str. 446-450. [COBISS.SI-ID 2816251]

tipologija 1.08 -> 1.01

2. BUTINAR, Lorena, FRISVAD, Jens Christian, GUNDE-CIMERMAN, Nina. Hypersaline waters : a potential source of foodborne toxigenic aspergilli and penicillia. FEMS microbiology, ecology, ISSN 0168-6496, 2011, vol. 77, no. 1, str. 186-199, doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6941.2011.01108.x. [COBISS.SI-ID 1882107]

3. BUTINAR, Lorena, STRMOLE, Tadeja, GUNDE-CIMERMAN, Nina. Relative incidence of ascomycetous yeasts in Arctic coastal environments. Microbial ecology, ISSN 0095-3628, 2011, vol. 61, no. 4, str. 832-843, doi: 10.1007/s00248-010-9794-3. [COBISS.SI-ID 1780731]

4. MOHORČIČ, Martina, JERMAN, Ivan, ZORKO, Mateja, BUTINAR, Lorena, OREL, Boris, JERALA, Roman, FRIEDRICH, Jožica. Surface with antimicrobial activity obtained through silane coating with covalently bound polymyxin B. Journal of materials science. Materials in medicine, ISSN 0957-4530, 2010, vol. 21, issue 10, str. 2775-2782., doi: 10.1007/s10856-010-4136-z. [COBISS.SI-ID 4471578]

University course code: 1VV308

Year of study: 3

Semester: 2

Course principal:





  • Lectures: 45 hours
  • Exercises: 15 hours
  • Individual work: 120 hours

Course type: lectures, laboratory practice, sessions

Languages: slovene

Learning and teaching methods:
lectures, laboratory practice, students' independent work