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.


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


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


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


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


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