Do you hear the harvest rumble? Time to rearrange your winery and dust off fermentation items and equipment.

When sealed well and stored properly (as airtight as possible in a cool environment), wine yeast can last for a couple of years. But when doubt, throw it out.

Recent years have brought designer yeasts and yeast blends to market at dizzying speed and are fun to try. When choosing a yeast for what it can bring to your wine, keep in mind the conditions to that keep the yeast happy including alcohol and temperature tolerances, nutrient requirements, and fermentation speed.

Most wine supply retailers have yeast charts dangling next to their yeast displays. Yeast charts and recommendations can also be found on-line on the yeast manufacturer or retailer websites. SHW’s website has also linked a few yeast charts for your reading pleasure:

  • More Wine!’s Yeast and Grape Pairing Article by Shea Comfort – while this article is dated, the tried and true yeasts may remain your most reliable partner in the winery. This article matches grape variety with yeasts and talks about what the desired yeast can bring your wine;
  • WineMaker magazine’s Yeast Strains Chart – lists yeast strains from the five largest wine yeast houses; and
  • Scott Labs Yeast Choosing Guide – expansive charts of the company’s yeasts with recommendations.