WSC307 Wine Microbiology (8)


This is a specialised subject, covering the physiology and biochemistry of yeast and bacterial growth during wine fermentation and conservation. Aspects of microbial control from grape harvest to bottling of wine will also be considered. This subject commences in session 1 and concludes in session 2 in the calendar year of enrolment. Students must enrol in both sessions 1 and 2. It is not possible to commence this subject in session 2.
Distance Education students are required to attend a compulsory residential school as a requirement for this subject.

+ Subject Availability Modes and Location

Session 1
Distance*Wagga Wagga Campus
Session 2
Distance*Wagga Wagga Campus
*This subject offering contains a residential school. Please view following information for further details.
Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: WSC307
Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject information

Duration Grading System School:
Two sessionsHD/FLSchool of Agricultural and Wine Sciences

Assumed Knowledge

Students attempting this subject are assumed to have completed BIO115 or BIO118 or MCR101 or material considered equivalent in content to these subjects.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of the physiology and biochemistry of the alcoholic fermentation by wine yeasts;
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of the physiology and biochemistry of the malolactic fermentation;
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of the ecology and biochemistry of wine spoilage by microorganisms; and
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of control of microorganisms during winemaking;
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of the techniques used in the study of wine microorganisms.


The subject will cover the following topics:
- Ecological aspects of the alcoholic fermentation : species of yeasts active during wine fermentations; factors affecting their growth and metabolism;

- Biochemistry of flavour and aroma production by yeasts during the alcoholic fermentation;

- Bacterial ecology of the malolactic fermentation : interplay of bacterial species during the malolactic fermentation; impact of wine environment on bacteria during this process; modifications to wine flavour and aroma resulting from the malolactic fermentation;

- Role of yeasts and bacteria in spoilage reactions : ecology of spoilage activity; flavour and aroma modifications during spoilage by various microorganisms; control of spoilage microorganisms, and

- Control of microorganisms during winemaking : chemical additions to wines; impact of variations in processing technique.

Residential School

This subject contains a compulsory 3 day residential school. The purpose of the compulsory residential school is to develop skills in practical microbiology of relevance to wine production that support the theoretical aspects of the subject.  The three day residential school is comprised of problem based tutorials, mid-year test and laboratory exercises.  The problem based tutorials make use of real examples of wine production and winery management issues in which principles of microbiology must be considered along with the underlying chemistry, personnel and winery management approaches for rectifying and prevention of wine spoilage.  Laboratory exercises reinforce the biochemical impact of yeast and bacterial metabolism for wine flavour and production, including nutritional requirements, rehydration procedures, biomass quantification and identification of spoilage organisms, thier impact and management.  

Specialised Resources

Students are required to attend compulsory residential school and will incur travel costs and a time commitment.


The information contained in the 2016 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: 06 September 2016. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.