: Geography and climate

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Many conditions have to be met before botrytized wines can be produced. Not only is a mesoclimate which favours misty mornings and warm afternoons in autumn needed, but producers must have the knowledge and the will to sacrifice quantity for nothing more certain than possible quality. Botrytized wines are very much a product of psyche as well as nature.

The district with the potential to produce the greatest quantity of top-quality botrytized wine is sauternes (although it all depends, as everywhere, on the precise weather of the year). The confluence of the Rivers Ciron and garonne provide an ideal mesoclimate for the satisfactory development of noble rot. Nearby sweet white wine districts cérons, loupiac, cadillac, and ste-croix-du-mont may also produce small quantities of botrytized wines, although the price fetched by these appellations rarely justifies the additional production costs.