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Purebred microorganisms were employed to upgrade the fermentation process of Zhejiang rosy vinegar. The fermentation cycle was greatly shorten from 5 months to 72 d. The transformation rate of raw materials was increased from 1:4.5 in the traditional fermentation to 1:5 or more in the upgraded fermentation. The content of organic acids in the traditional vinegar (TRV), the upgraded vinegar (UPV) and the submerged fermentation vinegar (SFV) were also investigated by HPLC. No significant difference was found regarding the proportion of phenylethanol to the total volatile components in UPV (7.47% ± 0.00324%) and TRV (7.23% ± 0.00329%), but it was significantly higher than that in SFV (2.26% ± 0.00143%). This study provides deep insight into upgrading the fermentation process of Zhejiang rosy vinegar by purebred microorganisms.