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Natural Yeasts: These are yeasts that occur naturally on the grapes, rather than commercially cultured yeasts; both are used for fermentation. Many feel that the natural yeasts add more complexity to the wine. Large-scale producers shy away from natural yeasts, which can be unreliable since they are less controlled than cultured varieties.
Alcohol: Ethyl alcohol, a chemical compound formed by the action of natural or added yeast on the sugar content of grapes during fermentation.
Yeast: Micro-organisms that convert sugar to alcohol and carbon dioxide in the process known as fermentation. The predominant wine yeast, saccharomyces cerevisiae, is the same micro-organism that ferments beer and makes bread dough rise. Three categories of yeasts are common, including cultured, natural and wild.
Organic Wine: The rules and methods for producing organic grapes and wine are still evolving. The answer usually depends on the country of origin and the various governing organizations involved. France, for example, legally defined organic farming in 1981 as "farming which uses no synthetic chemical products." In most cases, organic wines are fermented from grapes grown without the use of synthesized fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. In organic wines, natural yeasts and minimal amounts of sulfur are often used in the fermentation process.
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