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A Quick Overview Of How To Say Botrytis Cinerea
Botrytis cinerea is a sporal fungus which is welcomed in certain vineyards, and a disaster in others. Botrytis cinerea is Latin for 'ashy grapes' (think 'cinders', 'cinerea'). On one hand, if it affects red grapes, or other berries such as strawberries, it destroys the crops. On the other, infection with botrytis is essential for the making of certain categories of sweet white wine, most notable the Sauternes.
Botrytis cinerea is also known as 'Noble Rot' ('Pourriture Noble' in French). The fungus pierces the skin of the grapes as it grows, causing water to evaporate, and the sugars and acids to concentrate and become more complex. Sémillon grapes are particularly suitable for the benefits of the fungus.
The sweet white wines made from these grapes is greatly prized: years when Noble Rot does not afflict the vineyards means a loss of the vintage in the case of Sauternes. This is, quite literally, a case of 'one man's meat is another man's poison'.