What is Botrytis Cinerea?
The Coteaux du Layon appellation, located in the Layon Valley on the left bank of the Loire River, enjoys a dry, warm micro climate, especially in the autumn. These conditions are perfect for the over-ripening of the grapes.
Botrytis Cinerea, the microscopic fungus that causes noble rot, develops on grapes when they are overripe.
In fact, the overripe grape berries have thinner skins, so it is easier for the fungus to penetrate the grapes.
The fungus then feeds on the water contained in the grapes, causing the grapes to crack slightly. However the grapes do not burst and instead they start to produce more sugar.
This concentration then kills off the fungus and the bunches develop the shrivelled look they have when we pick them.
It has been discovered that the valley’s night-time humidity, along with its morning dew and mists, is propitious to the appearance of the fungus. In the afternoon, the heat and the wind will help this water to evaporate. Noble rot develops due to the coming together of the two phenomena.
So, thanks to this combination of natural phenomena, we are able to produce our Coteaux du Layon Beaulieu "A la faveur de l’automne" that we invite you to discover.
Small anecdote :
Be careful not to confuse noble rot with grey rot. The latter is a fungus that develops on grapes that have not reached the over-ripe stage. The development of this unwelcome fungus is generally caused by high air humidity.