We left two fields for Late Harvest Gewürztraminer in 2009. The weather had been dry, the grapes were fully ripe and we began to panic because no botrytis was developing. Then a week of rain and cold weather began October 12 and by the 18th, panic was replaced by excitement. The late rains had knocked off all the autumn leaves so the fruit was fully exposed and easy to see. We began harvest on Oct. 19, selecting clusters infected with the mold botrytis but when the sun reemerged, we noticed some Aspergillus niger. We upped the harvest tempo, keeping each days picking separate. Only the first day's juice, free of Aspergillus, was selected for this bottling, a mere 25% of the grapes we had harvested. The remaining 75% was sold off in bulk. Luscious mango and papaya flavors with a drizzle of honey, guaranteed to make you hum with pleasure. Gold Medal winner.
At the end of the growing season, voracious hummingbirds and mold both proliferate.
Aspergillus niger are two molds commonly found on wine grapes at the end of the season. Botrytis dominates other molds when the humidity is high and the temperatures are cool. It causes the berry to shrivel, intensifying flavors while adding delicious honey-apricot notes; hence it is also referred to as the
noble rot. But when the weather is sunny and the humidity drops,
Aspergillus quickly spreads on clusters exposed to the sun, adding bitterness which we don't consider noble