Abstract 4-Ethylphenol (4-EP) and 4-ethylguaiacol (4-EG) are the identified volatile phenolic compounds associated with off-odour in wine. The aim of this work was to investigate the kinetics and thermodynamics of sorption of 4-EG and 4-EP by yeast cell walls, using a synthetic wine. Results showed that the sorption capacity by yeast cell walls for 4-EG was greater than that for 4-EP and that the kinetics of 4-EG were quicker, although the unions were weaker than in the case of 4-EP. The retention of these compounds was by means of specific chemical sorption. The process of sorption of these compounds to the yeast walls could be due to their binding to the residual lipids, as well as to interaction of 4-EP and 4-EG (positively charged compounds), with the functional groups of the mannoproteins and the free amino acids of the surface of the cell walls.