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White Labs introduces wine strains

White Labs is pleased to announce the release of wine strains, a move designed to provide winemakers with the best yeast on the market. White Labs is hoping to make as important a difference in winemaking as it has in the brewing world.

"This could be the greatest advance in winemaking in several years," said Chris Mueller, vice president of White Labs.

The wine strains are available year-round and are packaged similar to the company’s long line of brewers yeast. White Labs currently sells the yeast to many Southern California wineries. It is now making the following strains available to home winemakers and professionals alike:

— WLP715 Champagne Yeast: Classic yeast, used to produce champagne, cider, dry meads, dry wines, or to fully attenuate barley wines/ strong ales. Can tolerate alcohol concentrations up to 17 percent. Neutral. Attenuation: > 75 percent. Flocculation: Low. Optimum fermentation temperature: 70-75F.

— WLP720 Sweet Mead/ Wine Yeast: A wine yeast strain that is less attenuative than WLP715, leaving some residual sweetness. Slightly fruity. A good choice for sweet mead and cider, as well as Blush wines, Gewurztraminer, and Riesling. Attenuation: < 75 percent. Flocculation: Low. Optimum fermentation temperature: 70-75F.

— WLP730 Chardonnay White Wine Yeast: Dry wine yeast. Slight ester production, low sulfur dioxide production. Enhances varietal character. WLP730 is a good choice for all white and blush wines, including Chablis, Chenin Blanc, Semillon, and Sauvignon Blanc. Fermentation speed is moderate. Alcohol tolerance: 14 percent. Attenuation: > 80 percent. Flocculation: Low. Optimum fermentation temperature: 50-90F.

— WLP740 Merlot Red Wine Yeast: Neutral, low fusel alcohol production. Will ferment to dryness, alcohol tolerance to 18 percent. Vigorous fermenter. Also well suited for Cabernet, Shiraz, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Semillon. Alcohol tolerance: 18 percent. Attenuation: > 80 percent. Flocculation: Low. Optimum fermentation temperature: 60-90F.

— WLP760 Cabernet Red Wine Yeast: High temperature tolerance. Moderate fermentation speed. Excellent for full bodied red wines, ester production complements flavor. Also suitable for Merlot, Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, and Sauvignon Blanc. Alcohol tolerance: 16 percent. Attenuation: > 80 percent. Flocculation: Low. Optimum fermentation temperature: 60-90F.