Daily Archive for October 28th, 2009

Botrytis Cinirea

Botrytis cinirea is occurring, in a very small block of older Riesling vines, in our Lafond Vineyards. It will very likely produce less than 1500 375ml bottles. Botrytis cinirea can occur, under wet conditions, in other fruits, such as strawberries, where it is simply called rot and the fruit discarded. In grapes, usually after an initial rain, and if followed by dry weather, we call it Noble Rot. Which sounds infinitely better.  Wikipedia describes it very well…

In the Botrytis infection known as “noble rot” (pourriture noble in French, or Edelfäule in German), the fungus removes water from the grapes, leaving behind a higher percent of solids, such as sugars, fruit acids and minerals. This results in a more intense, concentrated final product. The wine is often said to have an aroma of honeysuckle and a bitter finish on the palate.

This is a recent photo at our vineyard showing the grapes at various stages. When complete the grapes are brownish in color and collapse on themselves as the water is removed by the fungus. The flavors become very concentrated and complex and, although sweet, maintain high acidity. The finished wine is usually under 10% in alcohol with residual sugar exceeding 20%.