See Also: Ice Wine
Botrytis Blight, Botrytis Rot, Gray Mold Blight
Noble rot refers to the parasitic fungus (mold), Botrytis cinerea, that develops on grapes under certain conditions. The mold forms on the skin of the grapes causing the grapes to shrivel, reducing moisture content and thereby concentrating the sugar and flavor of the grapes.
French Sauternes, German Beerenauslese and Hungarian Tokay are produced from such grapes.
Under humid conditions this fungus can ruin entire crops of grapes and other fruits. In grapes, the destructive fungus turns noble only if the initial infection is followed by dry weather which limits the infection and begins a complicated interaction between the fungus and the grapes, dehydrating them, concentrating the sugars and transforming the flavor and consistency.
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