• Botrytis – is it noble or not?

Time is ticking by and harvest is late this year in the Loire (well certainly in Anjou/Saumur). Every ray of sunshine counts, pushing grapes to full ripeness.  Chenin Blanc is a grape variety that doesn’t ripen in a homogenous manner – all stages of maturation can be seen on one bunch with under ripe, perfectly ripe, super ripe, and botrytis affected grapes all jostling for position.

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Half the bunches on this vine have already been picked – the first pass through the vineyard

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Chenin grapes turn golden and then take on shades of pink and purple

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Here you can see signs of botrytis – some noble and some not quite so. See the furry grey patch – that’s grey rot and spoils the grapes

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Noble rot (the good sort) affects healthy grapes but it’s only a whisker away from spoiling the grapes if the weather turns.

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On this vine you can see that some bunches are still quite green while others are riper.