Nine yeast strains were isolated from spontaneous fermentations in the Alsace area of France, during the 1997, 1998 and 1999 grape harvests. Strains were characterized by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis, PCR-restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) of the MET2 gene, delta-PCR, and microsatellite patterns. Karyotypes and MET2 fragments of the nine strains corresponded to mixed chromosomal bands and restriction patterns for both Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Saccharomyces bayanus var. uvarum. They also responded positively to amplification with microsatellite primers specific to both species and were demonstrated to be diploid. However, meiosis led to absolute nonviability of their spores on complete medium. All the results demonstrated that the nine yeast strains isolated were S. cerevisiaexS. bayanus var. uvarum diploid hybrids. Moreover, microsatellite DNA analysis identified strains isolated in the same cellar as potential parents belonging to S. bayanus var. uvarum and S. cerevisiae.