When we talk about countries with non-grafted vines, most people think of Chile, the only country in the world that is completely free from phylloxera, the small wine louse that infects the wine roots and kills the vines. But also in Australia a significant proportion of the vineyards are planted with non-grafted vines. However, the wine louse is present in the country and several outbreaks have recently been noted in e.g. Yarra Valley in Victoria. People begin to worry that perhaps the transition to grafted vines is too slow.
The reason why there are still so many ungrafted vines may be simply that wine producers in Australia believe that non-grafted vines provide better quality. But the economic aspects certainly also play a role. It costs a lot of money to tear up vineyards and plant new ones. There is a reluctance to pull up the old vines that Australia has become known for. But for how long will they be able to keep the little louse at bay?
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