When Did Phylloxera Hit Europe?


Today rootstock is still used for much of the wine world and phylloxera is still a danger. The danger is no less in the U.S. In the 1990’s a mutation of Phylloxera called “Biotype B,” was found thriving in AXr1, which was a common rootstock. About two thirds of the vineyards in Napa during the 90’s were replanted.

When was the phylloxera epidemic?

In the late 1800s, French wines were almost lost forever. Starting around 1860, a tiny yellow louse called phylloxera (pronounced fi-lok-SUH-ruh) decimated Europe’s vineyards, brought to the continent unknowingly by Victorian-era botanists through American native vines.

What is phylloxera and why is it significant?

Phylloxera is a silent and stealth killer, destroying grapevines by attacking their roots. The American Vitis labrusca vines and roots, on which the insects stowed away across the Atlantic, were naturally immune to the pest. Once the bugs latched onto the roots of the European Vitis vinifera vines, the damage began.

Which country has never been affected by phylloxera?

B. Phylloxera—a tiny, yellow, insect—has spread through much of the world, destroying vineyards in its wake as the insects feed on vines’ roots, ultimately sucking the life out of the plants. However, a phylloxera epidemic has not (some would say not yet) hit Chile.

How can phylloxera be prevented?

The use of tolerant rootstock is the only effective way to prevent damage and reduce pest populations in phylloxera infested vineyards. All vineyards in actual or potential danger from phylloxera should be planted with vines grafted onto tolerant rootstocks.

Why is Chile not in danger of phylloxera?

The climate has been described as midway between that of California and France. The most common grapes are Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Carmenère. So far Chile has remained free of the phylloxera louse, which means that the country’s grapevines do not need to be grafted with phylloxera-resistant rootstocks.

How does Pierce’s disease spread?

Pierce’s Disease is a deadly disease of grapevines. It is caused by the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa, which is spread by xylem feeding leafhoppers known as sharpshooters. Pierce’s Disease is known to be prevalent within the USA from Florida to California, and outside the USA in Central and South America.

Is South Africa an old world wine country?

South Africa: As far as “new world” goes, South African wine is definitely the oldest, having been first planted in the 1600s. It’s hardly new here. But the combination of European influence and gradual transformation forces it into the new world category by definition.

How was phylloxera solved?

The only successful means of controlling phylloxera has been the grafting of phylloxera-resistant American rootstock (usually hybrid varieties created from the Vitis berlandieri, Vitis riparia and Vitis rupestris species) to more susceptible European vinifera vines.

What are illegal vines in France?

Winemakers protect outlawed vines : The grapes of wrath. BEAUMONT, France — The wine produced in this remote valley of southern France is dark crimson, somewhat fruity — and illegal. For at least three generations, local families have tended to the gnarled vines that grow from rocky terraces above the Beaume River.

Who saved the French wine industry?

Hermann Saves French Wine. Did you know that Missouri, saved the French wine industry from ruin in the 1870’s? It was called the Great French Wine Blight. French vineyards were dying and people feared that the entire European wine industry would be wiped out.


Where are the oldest vines in the world?

The heart of Maribor, Lent, is home to the oldest vine in the world. At more than 450 years old it’s the only plant boasting its own museum – the Old Vine House.

Who first made wine in California?

Winemaking in California began more than 240 years ago. In 1769, Father Junipero Serra, a Franciscan missionary, brought settlers from Mexico into San Diego. He established a mission there and the first known vineyard in California.

What country consumes the most wine?

The United States consumes the largest volume of wine of any country, at 33 million hectoliters in 2020. At 24.7 million hectoliters, France was the second leading consumer of wine worldwide.

How is Pierce’s disease prevented?

Preventing Pierce’s Disease

Much agony over this disease can be spared if you plant varieties of disease-resistant grapes. Planting resistant varieties are the only 100 percent effective way to prevent or control Pierce’s disease.

What does Pierce’s disease look like?

The following four symptoms in mid- to late summer indicate the presence of Pierce’s disease in chronically diseased grapevines: (1) leaves become slightly yellow or red along margins in white and red varieties, respectively, and eventually leaf margins dry or die in concentric zones; (2) fruit clusters shrivel or …

Can you get a disease from grapes?

Grapevine leafroll disease (GLD) is the most widespread virus disease that affects grapes. Several virus species and their strains cause GLD.

Why is Chilean wine so good?

Chile produces good, aromatic whites as well. In addition to the new sauvignon blancs from Huasco in Atacama, there are piercing sauvignon blancs that smell of white currants, lemon sorbet and the gooseberries grown in the cooler regions close to the coast – look for wines marked ‘costa’ (coastal) to find one.

What is the best wine region in Chile?

Close to the capital Santiago, the Maipo Valley is the birthplace of Chile´s wine production. To this day, it is the best known wine region of Chile.

What does Gran Reserva mean in Chile?

Gran Reserva in Chile is not legally defined. Well not exactly. The definition of Gran Reserva or even Reserva varies from country to country and even region to region for a country like Spain. Outside Spain there is no clear definition. It just means “a Reserve Selection” by the wine makers.

What causes grape phylloxera?

Pest Profile

These bumps are galls caused by the grape phylloxera, an aphid-like insect with the rather intimidating name of Daktulosphaira vitifoliae, that once endangered the grape industry in Europe.

How is phylloxera spread?

By the way, there are many ways that phylloxera can spread. Since our rootstock hybrids are not immune, phylloxera can enter a vineyard on the roots of grafted vines. From there, phylloxera nymphs or crawlers will periodically climb their way up to the soil surface, where they can easily be carried by the wind.

Why is phylloxera a problem for grape growers?

Phylloxera don’t feed on the berries directly, but the root feeding will cause the vine health to decline and is eventually fatal. Phylloxera is native to North America and evolved with tolerant native grapevines.