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Seifert Wenzel

Professor Dr. Wenzel Seifert (1862-1942) studied pharmacy and chemistry in Vienna and devoted himself to chemistry, bacteriology and microscopy at the University of Vienna. In 1890 he became assistant to Professor Leonhard Roesler (1839-1910) - his future father-in-law - at the Oenochemical Institute in the Department of Wine Chemistry at the Klosterneuburg Wine Institute (Lower Austria). In 1893 he carried out his first experiments with pure bred yeasts, which became his speciality. In 1895 he set up a state-of-the-art laboratory and applied the knowledge gained with brewer's yeasts to viticulture. Increasingly, he was also involved in wine chemistry and microbiology and in 1901 published a study on the reduction of acidity in wine, thus refuting the doctrine of the so-called second fermentation, which had been in force until then. He identified an acid-degrading bacterium and named it "Micrococcus malolacticus" (see also under malolactic fermentation). In the following years he published on many topics such as glycerol formation during fermentation, the formation of acetic acid and sulphurous acid. In 1910 he became director of the institute as successor of Dr. Leopold Weigert, which he headed until 1922. In his honour, a red grape variety created in Klosterneuburg in 1970 was named Seifert.

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