When fruits ripen, microbial communities start a fierce competition for the freely available fruit sugars. Three yeast lineages, including baker's yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, have independently developed the metabolic activity to convert simple sugars into ethanol even under fully aerobic conditions. This fermentation capacity, named Crabtree effect, reduces the cell-biomass production but provides in nature a tool to out-compete other microorganisms. Here, we analyzed over forty Saccharomycetaceae yeasts, covering over 200 million years of the evolutionary history, for their carbon metabolism. The experiments were done under strictly controlled and uniform conditions, which has not been done before. We show that the origin of Crabtree effect in Saccharomycetaceae predates the whole genome duplication and became a settled metabolic trait after the split of the S. cerevisiae and Kluyveromyces lineages, and coincided with the origin of modern fruit bearing plants. Our results suggest that ethanol fermentation evolved progressively, involving several successive molecular events that have gradually remodeled the yeast carbon metabolism. While some of the final evolutionary events, like gene duplications of glucose transporters and glycolytic enzymes, have been deduced, the earliest molecular events initiating Crabtree effect are still to be determined.