Revisiting Wine A-Z: Botrytis

Posted on August 24, 2015

Several years ago I started the Wine-phabet, a series that explored the alphabet through wine.  I tried to find fun and different wine terms that would be  both educational and fun to read. I thought I would re-post some of the Wine-phabet in case you never had the opportunity to read it. I hope you enjoy it.

What is that mold and rotting fungus growing on my grapes?  What is so noble about it?  For many years, grapes infected by Botrytis were deemed ruined, and thrown away.  It wasn’t until courageous winemakers dared to make wines from these “diseased” prunes, that we saw it’s magic.  Botrytis is like a parasite that sucks the water from the grape and in its place leaves a shriveled berry with a mere tear of nectar. It is in that tear that we see why wines made from these berries are so said to be noble and come with a high price tag.  The final product is juice with intense aromatics, rich sweetness and lively acidity.  The only problem is that it takes the right amount of humidity for it to occur, no more no less.  Lucky are Bordeaux, Hungary, Canada and Germany.  Ahhh Botrytis!  How is it that something so ugly tastes so pretty!

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