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Posted by Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral
Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of
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on Thursday, 27 December 2012
in Mother Nature's Vegetation

Fungus: Wine's New Flavor Descriptor

“In the wine industry, the fungal communities on grapes are especially important. The microbial species wine glass color odapipresent on the berry may contribute to the fermentation process, and therefore the aromatic properties of the resulting wine," said the authors of a study all about what yeast-like fungi and yeast species that are found in vineyards.

If your head is still foggy from all that beer and asparagus you ate last night let me present a scenario that helps explain that quote up there:

You and your friends are on a weekend winery tour and everyone is doing an excellent job remembering to tip the glass to examine the wine’s color, swirling, smelling, and sipping.  After a brief swish fun adjectives and “flavor descriptors” are being thrown around when all you really need to say is, “This is good. I like it. I’ll take eight!” Then someone says, “Yes, I can really taste the Aureobasidium pullulans and Sporobolomyces roseus in this wine. Both are fungi prevalent to the South African vineyards where this wine is cultivated.” Try not to glare at your friend even if they are an insufferable know-it-all thanks to the Internet and an obsession with PLOS ONE.

Researchers from Stellenbosch University, South Africa sampled Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from different vines in three well-established commercial vineyards directly adjacent to each other in the Polkadraai region of Stellenbosch, South Africa (the “Wine Capital of South Africa.”) Each of vineyard used a different farming system - organic, traditional or biodynamic- to cultivate the grapes.

Over six hundred yeast isolates from the three vineyards were analyzed and researchers discovered the biodynamic vineyard had a higher species richness and biodiversity than both the conventional and integrated vineyard.

wine grapesThe same yeast species was dominate in all vineyards no matter what the cultivation process was, but the least treated vineyard had more variety of fungal species than the other two. Small environmental differences like temperature or sun exposure between the vines could mean the composition of the fungal community on grape surfaces could vary drastically.

"Our findings could help viticulturalists and winemakers plan microharvest better, and implement better wine blending strategies to ensure consistency," said Mathabatha Setati, the study’s lead researcher.

The Mediterranean climate and the setting have made Polkadraai a popular wine touring region: “Key contributors to quality are the cooler mountain slopes, varied soils and breezes off False Bay, which always moderate summer temperatures. This is particularly true for the Polkadraai Hills, with its awesome direct views to sea.” It sounds like the wine regions of California but more exotic!

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Samina Cabral is a native Southern Californian who now resides on the shores of Lake Erie in Northeast Ohio. Samina and her husband believe that sustainability starts in the home and try to live their lives as simply as possible without compromising comfort.

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1944: Camano Class Light Cargo Ship was laid down for the US Army as FS-289 at Wheeler Shipbuilding in Whitestone, NY.

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1945: Delivered to US Army.

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1950: Acquired by the US Navy on July 1, 1950 and placed in service as USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

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1954: The movie, Mister Roberts, was made on the USNS New Bedford (T-AKL-17).

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1955 - 1963: Used as a cargo supply ship for the Texas Towers, a network of advanced radar stations located off the Eastern Seaboard. In 1957, Capt. Sixto Mangual was commander of the AKL-17 and in 1961 it was rechristened the USNS New Bedford. The New Bedford, sailing out of State Pier, was keeping vigil when Texas Tower No. 4 callapsed off the New Jersey coast during a January 1961 nor'easter.

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1963: Reclassified as Miscellaneous Unclassified (IX-308).

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1971: The New Bedford (IX-308) served as a Torpedo Test Firing Vessel in the Puget Sound area.

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1994: Ceremony in New Bedford.

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1995: The ship was struck from the Naval Register on April 4.

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2004: The Sea Bird's current disposition is a tuna long liner (fishing boat) out of San Diego, CA.

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2006: Design of the Tesla Turbine began on June 11, 2006. The Sea Bird was sold by Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service for commercial service.

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2007: The Sea Bird was drydocked for renovations.

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2008: The Sea Bird setting sail to Sea-Tac in Seattle, WA.

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2009 - 2010: The Sea Bird is currently docked at Seattle Sea-Tac.

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