Noble Rot is a form of the botrytis cinerea fungus that can form some of the greatest sweet dessert wines in the world. For this to happen, the exact right conditions must develop, and there are only a few places in the world where this happens, most notably in Bourdeaux (Sauternes) and Germany. It requires damp mornings and dry afternoons. When this happens, the rot attacks the ripe grapes, and eats the water inside the grapes without breaking the skin. By sucking out the water, the sugar in the grape becomes concentrated, allowing a wine to be produced that is both high in alcohol and sugar. In addition, the fungus flavors the wine in it's own special way, adding notes of honey and marmalade. This process is tricky, and requires a great deal of hand-picking. Pickers must go through the vineyard several times, each time picking only those grapes that are affected by the rot in just the right way. Some years the fungus just isn't created, and entire crops are lost. Because of the unpredictability, and extreme level of care required to produce these wines, they are always very expensive. And they are amazing!