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Did you know fungus can make wine tastier?

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For most wine producers, fungal infections can be their worst enemy damaging grapes and reducing wine quality. However, since the 16th century, wine producers have used a naturally occurring fungus known as “noble rot” to enhance the fruity taste and aroma of renowned dessert wines.

As European grapes are been harvested it’s interesting to note that since the 16th century, wine producers have used a naturally occurring fungus known as “noble rot” [1] to help produce fine wines. It has the unique capacity to enhance the fruity taste and aroma of renowned dessert wines such as Tokay from Hungary, Sauternes from France, and Beerenauslese wines from Germany and Austria [2]. 

However, for most wine producers, fungal infections can be their worst enemy, damaging grapes and reducing wine quality. For example, during 2021 in Champagne, powdery mildew fungus caused a 30% loss of harvest, in addition to a 30% loss previously caused by spring frosts [3].

Current solutions to help winemakers overcome the constant threat of fungal infections include growing disease-resistant varieties [4], careful pruning, monitoring and forecasting disease development, and precise applications of fungicides. 

🍇 Cheers, santé, prost, egészségére! 🍷

 

[1] Botrytis cinerea
[2] Wikipedia: Noble rot
[3] Champagne growers struggle in one of the wettest summers on record | Reuters
[4] Euroseeds - Innovation to preserve tradition: Fungi-resistant grape vine