It is in Wiesbaden, Germany, that the XXIX Entretiens Scientifiques Lallemand (ESL) were held on April 11th. The international conference brought together 150 participants around researchers presenting their latest results on the microbiological tools available to winemakers in a context marked by climate change and input reduction, as well as sustainability.
The German destination of Wiesbaden was not chosen by chance, since the ESL were also the occasion to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the Geisenheim Institute, a research center recognized worldwide and with which Lallemand Oenology has been collaborating for a long time. To this end, Manfred Grossman, Director of the Geisenheim Institute for many years, and Jürgen Wendland, its current director, have traced the history of the research center and outlined its future directions. Monika Christmann, Vice President of the OIV, introduced the conference with an inspiring speech on the world of wine today and the beneficial developments that wine has experienced over the years despite the challenges that wine professionals face. Then, speakers from all over Europe were able to present their research results on the technical possibilities offered to winemakers to cope with the new winemaking conditions, notably imposed by global warming on the one hand and by new consumer trends on the other hand. Harvesting earlier, imbalance between physiological maturity and phenolic maturity, higher alcohol concentration and pH, increasing tendency to reduce or even remove additions of SO2 are some of the technical challenges facing winemakers today.
Stakeholders have shown that from the vineyard to the winery, the research possibilities are endless and the results obtained fascinating. The resulting applications are exciting and reassuring for a whole sector: foliar spray applied to the vine based on yeast derivatives was addressed by Dr Szabolcs Villangó, from KRC Research Institute in Hungary; acidifying yeast to help manage the pH instead of using chemicals was presented by Dr Antonio Morata from UMP in Spain; the change in the wine must matrix in terms of nutrients and the impact on fermentation was explored by Dr Bruno Blondin from the INRA (Montpellier); resuls on bio-protection of musts and wines conducted with non-Saccharomyces yeasts and lactic acid bacteria were shown by Dr Pierre Martini from IFV, France; inactivated dry yeasts (LSI) with a guaranteed content of glutathione against oxidation were presented by Dr. Florian Bahut for the University of Bourgogne, France and finally, trials conducted on applications of new tools such as the non-Saccharomyces yeast, Torulaspora delbrueckii and the wine bacteria Lactobacillus plantarum in Germany were presented by Dipl.-Ing, Johannes Burkert from Bayerische Landesanstalt für Weinbau und Gartenbau. Those topics presented and discussed allowed us to shed some light on new solutions for winemakers, adapted to climate and societal change. The proceedings will be available shortly.