Clients Slideshow

Sun Bio

Wine Biotechnology


SunBio is a research group within the Institute of Wine Biotechnology that strives to form a link between the academic research world and the wine industry.  The current IWBT management staff (Professors Melané Vivier, Maret du Toit and Florian Bauer) act as advisors to SunBio and work in close cooperation with the research team.  Each of these IWBT staff members contributes their research expertise and knowledge to the SunBio projects. SunBio employs a group of experienced researchers that undertake the yeast related development work.

Our mandate is to provide creative solutions to the challenges of the wine industry.  Feel free to contact us with any related request.

Currently we are busy with:

Research and Development

  • Evaluating new and alternative sterilization methods for wine, grape concentrate and cellar equipment
  • Development of fast and reliable detection method for Brettanomyces through quantitative real-time PCR in wine.  Other spoilage yeast strains e.g.Zygosaccharomyces are also under investigation. 
  • Breeding and improvement of yeast strains through non-GM technologies (micromanipulation, rare mating, directed evolution) 
  • Isolation and testing of natural wine microflora including non-Saccharomyces yeast and lactic acid bacteria strains
  • Contract research for commercial clients to test and develop wine yeast strains and related products.  Past and current clients include Anchor Yeast, Lallemand, Warrenchem, Oenobrands, Christian Hansen
  • Other fields of expertise include genetic enhancement technologies


  • Knowledge transfer from research to industry through specialized short courses (online or presented at the Institute).  More information will follow soon.
  • Specialized analysis, assistance and problem solving for spoiled wines.  These include microbial analysis of wines and yeast strain identification.
  • Analysis of spontaneous fermentations of commercial cellars and custom identification of their unique yeast microflora
  • Small-scale wine fermentation trials

Chemical analysis of health related compounds in wine such as resveratrol and biogenic amines.


  • Country: South Africa