The Rooting Out Of Phylloxera

Learn About The Origin Of Phylloxera Remember the tale of Phylloxera and the three grapevine roots? Yes you do: Phylloxera came over and ate everything in their house but nothing satisfied her, so she ate the three grapevine roots. Then she and her parasitic horde devoured the rest of Europe’s and the world’s grapevine roots nearly driving our precious nectar of the gods from this great big ball of dirt we call home. Then came the Americans to save the day with their rootstocks which were immune to Phylloxera’s appetite for destruction. What no one knew, though, was it was the Americans who introduced Phylloxera to Europe in the first place. Then communism fell and Wal-mart opened a new store in Suburbia. In the mid 1800s native American vines were shipped to France for experimentation and Phylloxera, unbeknownst to anyone, stowed away on the roots. Once called Phylloxera vastatrix, or the devastator, but now known as Daktulosphaira vitifoliae, Phylloxera is a small greenish-yellow aphid that feeds on the roots of grapevines, thus strangling the plant as its water and nutrients source is cut off. In a little under three decades the majority of Europe’s vineyards were gone. Growers were confounded [...]

Anatomy Of A Grape Vine

Learn about Vitis vinifera: The Anatomy Of A Grape Vine The common grape vine has been dated to be about 200 million years old and has been noted in the annals of history from the time of cave drawings depicting the great wine parties of the Neolithic era to The Epic of Gilgamesh in Ancient Mesopotamia to Wine Spectator’s monthly wine reviews of today. And regardless of the scribe the message has always been clear: wine good. For some of us that basic wine knowledge is enough, but there are others who crave more. So let us turn our eyes to the root of all wine: the grapevine, Vitis vinifera. Vitis Vinifera: Common Grape Vine Vitis vinifera is the only commercially planted variety of grape vine used for wine on a global scale. North America has native vines: Vitis labrusca, Vitis riparia, Vitis rotundifolia, and some of these are made into sweet wines and have a “foxy” characteristic like musk. But their production is limited to regions in North America. That is not to say they have no influence on the rest of the wine world. On the contrary, much of the vines in the world are planted from the [...]