The Miracle of Botrytis

All our sweet wines depend almost exclusively on botrytis. This microscopic fungus is capable of the best and the worst, depending on the environment where it develops. One needs an alternation between morning mists to develop the fungus and bright sun for the rest of the day to promote the evaporation of water. If the first is missing, the botrytis doesn’t develop. If the second doesn’t happen, the humidity becomes too high and the noble rot becomes grey rot.

The magic of Tirecul’s terroir allows us each year to achieve the fragile balance needed for botrytis. The fungus attacks the grape skin, perforating it to penetrate into the grape. The water contained in the pulp of the grape can then evaporate. In colonising the pulp, it changes the colour and, more importantly the taste, leading to a concentration of sugar and a unique taste – a real sweet candy - enabling us to produce our prestigious sweet white wines.

It is not the mere concentration of ripe grapes but a real biological transmutation which brings with it an aromatic complexity allied with unparalleled structure.