Gewürztraminer's skins are thick and the grapes ripen early so we've only been able to produce a botrytis affected Gewürz seven times in the past twenty years. The russet berries were ripening late in 2006 with amazingly high acidity which sparked our hope for producing a late harvest. Navarro's Damface and Peach blocks are located above ponds and since botrytis thrives in high humidity, we risked leaving the crop unpicked for as long as possible. We finally began harvesting clusters affected with the noble rot on November 1 and didn't finish until the day after gobbling down Thanksgiving dinner. Sweet wines aren't only for the end of a meal. We like to surprise our guests with a sweet introduction to dinner. This wine is yummy with chicken or duck liver mousse on toast. It also works well with pancetta and goat cheese stuffed mushrooms while waiting for the main course to come out of the oven. Gold Medal winner. Best of Show.
Harvesting grapes late into November requires considerable physical and mental stamina on the part of pickers and crush crew.