For more than a decade there has been research going on in France in order to obtain grape varieties that are resistant to the fungal diseases oidium and mildiou. The research organization INRA believe that these varieties will be able to come on the market in 2017. 36 different resistance crossings are already out in the vineyards for experimental purposes. A large part of the spraying that is made in the vineyards, be it with synthetic products or with copper and sulphur, are made to combat these two fungal diseases.
The research continues. The next step is to develop crossings with resistance to other diseases, like black-rot and, perhaps the biggest challenge, to find solutions to the problem of ESCA and eutypiose, two other severe fungal diseases that presently have no cure. It is important to note that this research does not involve genetic modification.
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