Sunday, 13 December 2009

Rotten Wine

 A few years ago the Vignerons de Buxy (our local wine merchant in St Gengoux le National) decided to experiment by making “Rotten” wine. The wine is however not rotten, just the grapes. This type of wine (commonly called late harvest wine) is made from grapes that have been allowed to rot on the vine. It sounds disgusting, but apparently it is a well known way of making an exquisitely sweet dessert wine.

By leaving the grapes on the vine two processes take place. Firstly the grapes develop a higher sugar content as they dry on the vines and secondly a fungus (botrytis cinerea) develops on the grapes which alters the acidity of the grapes further strengthening the sweetness. The grapes need to be picked very carefully by hand and processed immediately. The wine is prepared and then has to be aged before being drunk.

This year’s harvest has just been completed and because of the weather we have had, 2009 is expected to be the best year yet for Buxy late harvest wine, but we’ll have to wait until 2011 for that one. This year we will have to be content with the 2007 vintage which is just about to go on sale.

La Tuilerie Website

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