Appears in
Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

fermentation, as it applies to wine, is the process of converting sugar to ethanol (ethyl alcohol) and carbon dioxide effected by the anaerobic (oxygen-free) metabolism of yeast. It comes from the Latin word fervere, to boil; any mass containing sugar that has been infused with yeast certainly looks as though it is boiling, as it exudes carbon dioxide bubbles.


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  2. Ribéreau-Gayon, P., et al., Traité d’Œnologie 1: Microbiologie du vin: Vinifications (Paris, 1998), translated by J. M. Branco, as Handbook of Enology 1: The Microbiology of Wine and Vinifications (Chichester, 2000).