WSC406 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 Outlines
Current CSU students can view Subject Outlines for recent sessions. Please note that Subject Outlines and assessment tasks are updated each session.


* Offering has a residential school. Please view following information for further details.

Session 1 (30)
Online *
Wagga Wagga Campus
Session 2 (60)
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: WSC406. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



Two sessions


School of Agricultural and Wine Sciences

Assumed Knowledge

(BIO115 or BIO118 or MCR101) and (BCM210 or BCM206 or PSC208 or AGS203) and (WSC101 or WSC114)

Incompatible Subjects


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to critically evaluate the impact of altered wine chemical composition and storage conditions on the ecology and physiology of microorganisms
  • be able to critcally reflect and adjust grape chemical compositional measures to impact microbial growth during alcoholic and malolactic fermentation
  • be able to critically evaluate wine storage options for control of spoilage microorganisms during winemaking and wine conservation;
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of the basic techniques used in the study of wine microorganisms.
  • be able to critically evaluate the impact of specific wine production techniques on the physiology and biochemistry of the alcoholic fermentation by wine yeasts
  • be able to apply specific wine production techniques that impact microbial physiology and biochemistry that produce or retain positive wine sensory and chemical composition


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

Residential School

This subject contains a 3 day Compulsory 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, their impact and management.

Special Resources

This subject has a residential school. The cost of travel and accommodation associated with attendance at the residential school must be covered by the student. All students are required to have a lab coat, safety glasses and covered footwear for lab based practicals.


Current Students

For any enquiries about subject selection or course structure please contact Student Central or or phone on 1800 275 278.

Prospective Students

For further information about Charles Sturt University, or this course offering, please contact info.csu on 1800 275 278 (free call within Australia) or enquire online.

The information contained in the 2018 CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: August 2018. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.