Kinnegar Wines , Importers of fine selected wines

Importers of fine selected wines

Specialist in South African Wines

Paul Cluver Noble Late Harvest Riesling

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Paul Cluver Noble Late Harvest Riesling

As you know, it is due to Botrytis cinerea that we are able to make Noble Late Harvest Riesling at Paul Cluver. This fungal growth is initiated by rain during the ripening phase of the grapes. For the fungus to develop further, cool weather and relatively high humidity is required.

However, if the humidity stays high or if it is wet for a prolonged period, a secondary infection of Acetobacter aceti may occur resulting in ‘sour rot’ rather than ‘noble rot’. Generally there is always a measure of sour rot between the noble rot grapes. Measures are taken to manage or limit the levels of sour rot adding cost to the vineyard management process.

Since grapes infected with sour rot are of no use to us, the selection process during harvesting is of utmost importance. Bunch sorting is critical  - the same vineyard is harvested 3 to 4 times adding to the cost to the harvesting process.

In order to ensure that sour rot infected grapes a berry sorting  process is undertaken at the cellar  – making the wine making process laborious and costly.

With a varietal like Sauvignon blanc, we anticipate a production of 7 tons/ha. This results in a final recovery of 625 to 650 litres per ton which in turn results in 5800 to 6000 bottles (750 ml) per hectare.

Our uninfected Riesling delivers between 6.5 and 8 tons per hectare – whereas botrytis infected Riesling only delivers 4 Tons per hectare.  We lose an average 2.5 - 4 tons of grapes due to the dehydration caused by the fungus, per season.

In the production of Noble Late Harvest wine we only recover 300 - 350l/ton – again due to the dehydrated berries. Net result is the equivalent of 1600 - 1800 bottles (750 ml).

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