In the macroscopic world, ecological interactions between multiple species of fauna and flora are recognised as major role-players in the evolution of any particular species. By comparison, research on ecological interactions as a driver of evolutionary adaptation in microbial ecosystems has been neglected. The evolutionary history of the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has been extensively researched, providing an unmatched foundation for exploring adaptive evolution of microorganisms. However, in most studies, the habitat is only defined by physical and chemical parameters, and little attention is paid to the impact of cohabiting species. Such ecological interactions arguably provide a more relevant evolutionary framework. Within the genomic phylogenetic tree of S. cerevisiae strains, wine associated isolates form a distinct clade, also matched by phenotypic evidence. This domestication signature in genomes and phenomes suggests that the wine fermentation environment is of significant evolutionary relevance. Data also show that the microbiological composition of wine fermentation ecosystems is dominated by the same species globally, suggesting that these species have co-evolved within this ecosystem. This system therefore presents an excellent model for investigating the origins and mechanisms of interspecific yeast interactions. This review explores the role of biotic stress in the adaptive evolution of wine yeast. © FEMS 2019.