Small, ugly and wrinkled - but loved

>> Friday, 1 January 2010

Noble rot grapes. Semillon. Chateau Nairac, Barsac, Sauternes, Bordeaux, France.


Château Nairac, Barsac, Sauternes, Bordeaux, stock photography samples, by Per Karlsson, BKWine.

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Chateau Nairac is in the appellation of Barsac in Bordeaux. It produces luscious sweet white wine from grapes that have been affected by noble rot, the famed botrytis cinerea, which affects the grapes in the vineyard. When this rot comes late in the season, just before harvest, it is beneficial and causes the grapes to shrivel on the vine and become more concentrated. It can also attack the vines at other times and then it can cause great damage as 'grey rot'.

Chateau Nairac is in the commune of Barsac, an appellation that has the right to sell its wines under the bigger appellation Sauternes. Many wineries in the appellation chooses to label the wine as Sauternes since it is better known internationally, but at Nairac one uses the Barsac name. Chateau Nairac has some 17 hectares of vineyard planted with 90% sémillon grape variety, and 6% sauvignon blanc, 4% muscadelle.

Nairac has a rather grand chateau building lying next to the main road south through the appellation. The winery is today headed by the brother-and-sister pair Nicolas and Eloise Heeter-Tari, Eloise taking care of promotion and management and Nicolas being responsible for the vineyards and winemaking.

At harvest a large number of pickers arrive in the vineyard to pick the shrivelled grapes almost one-by-one by hand. The grapes that arrive at the press in the winery look all mouldy and dried up, but they produce an incredibly rich sweet white wine with a deep golden colour.

All images © copyright Per Karlsson, BKWine. Images may not be used without our permission.

Bordeaux Sauternes Chateau Nairac stock photo samples - Images by Per Karlsson

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