A biocatalyst was prepared by immobilization of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, strain AXAZ-1, yeast cells on quince pieces and its suitability for fermentation of glucose and grape must was investigated. The immobilized yeast showed operational stability and no decrease in activity, even at low temperatures (0-10 degreesC). Total and volatile acidities in the wines produced were similar to dry wines. The concentrations of higher alcohols (propan-1nol and isobutyl alcohol) were low. The production of amyl alcohols proved to be temperature-dependent and decreased with lower temperatures. Ethyl acetate concentrations were relatively high, up to 113 mg/l. This probably contributes to the fruity aroma and high quality taste of the wines. GGMS analysis of wines produced using the immobilized biocatalyst and free cell fermentations showed no significant differences in the qualitative composition of aroma-related constituents. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.