The role of Humidity in Grape Growing
Humidity is often the culprit of diseases caused by mold and mildew. On the other, the right amount of humidity at the right time can cause one of the natural wonders of grape growing: botrytis cinerea.
In Sauternes and Barsac, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon are used to produce the great botrytis cinerea wines of the world. “Noble rot” develops after veraison when rain and humidity are followed by sunny weather.
However, if botrytis cinerea strikes a vineyard before veraison, it is no longer noble and is called grey rot instead. This disease also forms when the sun does not followed extended periods of humidity. If they are constantly moist, the grapes will eventually spoil.
But when noble rot sets properly, it results in very sweet wines with complex aromas and concentrated flavors. They will continue to develop in the bottle for many years when cellared at the proper wine storage temperature. Chateau d’Yquem is the most famous producer.
Humidity is also the culprit of powdery mildew. Affected grapes grow rotten and are unusable. Varietals that develop in tight bunches are particularly prone to powdery mildew.
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