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See under Botrytis.

Most commonly used abbreviation for Botrytis cinerea (synonym Botryotinia fuckeliana) for the mould fungus from the Botrytis genus, known in German as Grauschimmelfäule (also grey rot, grey mould, sour rot) or, in positive terms, as Edelpilz or Edelfäule. It is a tubular fungus and spreads mainly vegetatively via the conidia (spore form). Some species can also reproduce sexually. Depending on the stage of ripeness or the infested areas on the vine, it is also known as botrytis of the vine, botrytis of the stalk or botrytis of the grape.

Botrytis 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 include Sauternes (France), Rheingau (Germany), Neusiedlersee (Austria) and Tokaj (Hungary). Over 200 host plants are known. Flower bulbs, vegetables, ornamental plants and vines are particularly affected. The infestation is necotrophic (fatal) in young grapes and biotrophic (host organism stays alive longer) in older grapes.

Botrytis - Riesling und Chenin Blanc Trauben

Infestation of the vine

All parts of the vine except the trunk and the perennial wood are attacked, but preferably flowers (if the fungus occurs 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 turf that covers the infested plant parts. If the grapes are heavily infested, a grey cloud consisting of the fungal spores rises when the harvest containers are emptied. Botrytis is feared in viticulture, but very desirable "at the right time".

Under the right environmental conditions, noble rot develops, which is mainly desirable in white wine varieties. This is a prerequisite for the noble sweet wine types Ausbruch, Auslese, Beerenauslese and (a must) Trockenbeerenauslese. Botrytis wines are sweet wines due to their high sugar content. The caramel-like botrytis flavour (also known as...

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