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Noble rot

Colloquial term (also noble rot, noble fungus, noble mould) for Botrytis; see there.

Mostly used abbreviation for Botrytis cinerea (synonym Botryotinia fuckeliana) for the mould from the genus Botrytis, which is called grey mould rot (also grey rot, grey mould, sour rot) or positively as noble fungus or noble rot. It is a tubular fungus and spreads vegetatively via the so-called conidia (spore form). Depending on the stage of ripeness or the infected areas on the vine, it is also called vine botrytis, stalk botrytis or grape botrytis. It was already described in the 18th century and occurs in all temperate climate zones of the world. Wine-growing regions with particularly favourable geographical and climatic conditions for infestation are Sauternes (France), Rheingau (Germany), Neusiedlersee (Austria) and Tokaj (Hungary). More than 200 host plants are known. Flower bulbs, vegetable species, ornamental plants and grapevines are particularly affected. In young grapes, the infestation is necotrophic (lethal), in older grapes it is biotrophic (host organism stays alive longer).

Botrytis - Riesling und Chenin Blanc Trauben

Infestation of the vine

On the vine, all parts except the trunk and the perennial wood are attacked, but preferably flowers (if the fungus appears at this time) and berries. This is because there is a sufficient supply of sugar and nitrogenous compounds on these. The name grey mould is derived from the characteristic grey fungal lawn that covers the infested plant parts. When grapes are heavily infested, a grey cloud consisting of the fungal spores rises when the harvest containers are emptied. In viticulture, botrytis is on the one hand feared, but on the other hand very desirable "at the right time". Under the right environmental conditions, noble rot develops, which is mainly desired in white wine varieties. This is a prerequisite for the noble sweet wine types Ausbruch, Auslese, Beerenauslese and (a must) Trockenbeerenauslese. Botrytis wines belong to the sweet wines due to their high sugar content. With these, the caramel-like botrytiston (also brittle) is expressly desired....

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