You are using an old browser that may not function as expected. For a better, safer browsing experience, please upgrade your browser.

Log in Become a Member


Term for the independent enzymatic dissolution (autolytic = self-dissolving or also self-digesting) of protein molecules and other cell components without the aid of bacteria. In winemaking, this usually describes the gradual dissolution of dead yeast cells during the bottle fermentation of sparkling wine or mainly for white wines where the technique of yeast sedimentation is used. The amino acids and mannoproteins released during this process have a very positive effect on the taste and consistency of the wine. The longer the wine is left on the lees, the more of these substances dissolve in the wine and give it its typical yeasty and creamy taste. The wine gains volume and aromatic complexity. A long yeast storage period also improves the shelf life of wines (see also ageing, bottle ageing and shelf life).

Voices of our members

Dr. Christa Hanten

For my many years of work as an editor with a wine and culinary focus, I always like to inform myself about special questions at Wine lexicon. Spontaneous reading and following links often leads to exciting discoveries in the wide world of wine.

Dr. Christa Hanten
Fachjournalistin, Lektorin und Verkosterin, Wien

The world's largest Lexicon of wine terms.

25,902 Keywords · 46,873 Synonyms · 5,330 Translations · 31,239 Pronunciations · 179,676 Cross-references
made with by our author Norbert F. J. Tischelmayer. About the Lexicon