Michael David Winery’s Grape Microbiota Experiment Set To Return To Earth Aboard The SpaceX-22 Mission

Michael David Winery is excited to announce their fermentation experiment, Grape Microbiota, is expected to return to Earth on July 17th. Partnering with Common Sense Solutions (CSS) and sent to the International Space Station on the Northrop Grumman CRS-15 mission payload in February, this experiment investigated the microbial ecology and dynamics of grape juice fermentation in the absence of gravity.


Michael David Winery is the first winery in history to conduct wine fermentation on the International Space Station.

The experiment contained four 70 ml grape juice samples naturally fermenting in the ambient International Space Station environment. Throughout the project, the ISS crew removed samples with syringes and put them into a freezer. Identical samples remained on Earth in an environmental control chamber that mimicked the ISS ambient temperature, following the same schedule as the ISS experiment.

“Not only does this experiment show us what the fermentation process looks like in microgravity, but offers insight as to which microbes will be different in the fresh food decomposition cycles. With fresh food management a growing concern for humans who plan to live in space for a substantial amount of time, this experiment can provide a piece of the puzzle in making space living possible,” explained Jeff Farthing, Grape Microbiota Project Manager and Winemaker at Michael David Winery. “We are looking forward to studying the microbial structure of the ISS samples and are eager to continue experimenting with wine in space.”

The space-flown juice is set to return aboard the SpaceX-22 mission, splashing down off the coast of Florida on Saturday, July 17th. Upon arrival, the space samples will be sent to the ETS Laboratories to be analyzed and compared to the control experiment. The goal is to isolate the individual microbes that successfully propagated in space. These can then be catalogued in a microbial library with rights to it owned exclusively by Michael David Winery. Who knows, Michael David may even use it to create a space wine someday…


About Michael David Winery

Michael David Winery, producers of brands such as Freakshow, Petite Petit and Earthquake, is owned by brothers Michael and David Phillips who together have built their Lodi business into one of the fastest growing wineries in the United States. The Phillips brothers released their first commercial wine in 1984 under the Phillips Vineyards label after years of growing grapes for other wineries. Now celebrating more than 37 years as a bonded winery, Michael David Winery has over 900 acres of vineyards in the Lodi Appellation. Located one mile east of Interstate 5 on HWY 12 in Lodi, CA, Michael David wines regularly take top awards and gain recognition nationwide. For more information, visit the Michael David Winery website at www.michaeldavidwinery.com