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Yeast autolysis

During fermentation, the yeasts multiply. They form a biomass that can reach up to 2% of the volume. This biomass is made up of the cell walls of the dead yeasts and forms the lees of the wine. The lees disturb the wine, then settle at the bottom of the tank.
For the elaboration of quality dry white wines, and for some reds, the lees are kept and regularly put back into suspension for several months (see bâtonnage). Under the action of enzymes, the lees dissolve in the wine, giving it structure and aromas.