Wine producers are facing intensifying competition brought about by a widening gap between wine production and wine consumption, a shift of consumer preferences away from basic commodity wine to top quality wine, and economic globalization. Consequently, they are calling for a total revolution in the 'magical' world of wine. The process of transforming the wine industry from a production- to a market-orientated industry results in an increasing dependence on, amongst others, biotechnological innovation. Market-orientated wine-yeast strains are currently being developed for the cost-competitive production of wine with minimized resource inputs, improved quality and low environmental impact. The emphasis is on the development of Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains with improved fermentation, processing and biopreservation abilities, and capacities for an increase in the wholesomeness and sensory quality of wine.