The secret of Sauternes

1 to 3 glasses per vine

The great secret and unique quality of Sauternes lies first foremost in the art of picking the grapes. Ripeness alone is not enough: the grapes must reach the concentration, due to Botrytis Cinerea (noble rot), which give to the wine its high sugar content; only then will the  long and delicated harvest operation begin, and it will take two months to finish. The pickers go through the vineyard several times, taking each time only those grapes which have been completely very limited in size, but the grower in Sauternes has always been far more concentrated with quality than with quantity.

Once the grapes have been pressed, the juice ferments in oak casks. Having reached a certain alcoholic strength, the fermentation stops of its own accord, leaving a little unfermented sugar in the wine. During the two years of maturation, the wine is racked several times, and then finally bottled at the property.