Malolactic fermentation not only converts malic acid to lactic acid, but also has a direct impact on wine quality. Uncontrolled spontaneous malolactic fermentations or wild lactic acid bacteria can result in diminished varietal and fruit flavors, reduced esters, masked aromas and off-characters. The importance of choosing a selected strain has increased due to evolving winemaking preferences (e.g. higher pH levels, lower SO₂, higher alcohol, etc.), as well as concerns such as biogenic amines. The use of selected malolactic strains can contribute positively to wines while minimizing risks. Malolactic cultures can be added in a co-inoculation (24 hours after adding the yeast) or toward the end of the primary fermentation.
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