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A vine suffering from Phylloxera vastatrix

Phylloxera discovered in Washington State

Walla Walla, a well-known wine region in Washington State, was believed to be exempt from the vine louse (phylloxera vastatrix). Therefore, the recent discovery of the louse that is so dangerous to the vines dealt a heavy a blow to the wine producers. All of Washington, and especially Walla Walla, has the kind of sandy […]

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Grapes in a vineyard in Veneto ready for harvest

Resistant grape varieties spark debate

The vine is in many ways a robust plant that can withstand difficult conditions and drought. But it has weaknesses. One is that it is prone to fungal diseases. No vineyard can survive without spraying. Have you heard the opposite? Don’t believe those who tell you that some wine is made without the use of […]

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A vine suffering from Phylloxera vastatrix

Phylloxera strikes in Australia

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 […]

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A vine leaf attacked by mildiou (downy mildew)

Three white fungus resistant hybrid grape varieties approved in Austria

Four new white grape varieties have just been approved for use in Austrian Qualitätswein (quality wine) Three of these are so-called PIWIs, which is fungal resistant crossings. PIWI is a German abbreviation for Pilzwiderstandsfähig (literally fungus resistant). The fourth grape is Goldmuskateller, a regular Vitis vinifera that also has a good resistance to rot. The […]

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Vine pruned in winter in water

Rain and rain and rain in Bordeaux causes problems

It doesn’t stop raining in Bordeaux. As spring progresses, wine producers face problems. It is difficult to drive the tractor and to walk in a wet and muddy vineyard. This is inconvenient for those growers who mechanically remove the weeds. Maintenance in the vineyard, such as replacing the poles that hold up the wires, is […]

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Bayer buys Monsanto?

To combat pests, diseases, and to remove weeds belong to the everyday tasks of a farmer and a wine grower. There is a lot of money – and controversy – in pesticides so therefore the announcement that the German company Bayer is probably buying the American company Monsanto has caused a lot of speculations. Bayer […]

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Black-rot in southern France

Black-rot is a difficult fungal disease that affects the vines when rainfall is plentiful. And it has been plentiful, so say the least, in France this spring and early summer. Black-rot (as it is called also in French, perhaps because the disease was the “imported” from North America in the late 1800s) attacks both leaves […]

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Wild South African bleesbuck

South African rooibos plant used instead of sulphur

Rooibos is a South African plant that we have so far only been in contact with in the form of tea. Rooibos has a strong antioxidant capacity, preservative, like sulphur. Wine producers now realise that maybe this quality can be used for winemaking. The big producer KWV has recently launched a wine called Earth’s Essence […]

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Stricter rules in Austria for spraying with copper

Organic producers are criticized for their use of copper in the vineyards. The EU allows 6 kilograms of copper per hectare and per year for organic producers, as we mentioned recently (Organic viticulture: How do you use less copper?). But one of our readers, Gottfried Lamprecht, an organic wine producers in southern Austria, has pointed […]

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Tractor equipped for spraying

Spraying of vineyards: 26 active substances should be replaced, says EU commission

The European Commission has recently published a list of 26 active substances used in viticulture that should eventually be replaced, because of their danger to people or the environment. On the list are copper sulphate, copper hydroxide, copper oxide chloride and copper oxide. All of these are used for spraying against fungal diseases, especially downy […]

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New organic pesticide against rot (bytritis)

UK research company Eden Research has developed an organic pesticide, called 3AEY. The product has now been approved for sale in the EU. 3AEY is made of tea tree oil and lemon juice and is said to be effective against rot. The product has so far been found to have the same protection as conventional […]

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Esca, a big problem in the French vineyards

The French wine harvest 2014 has largely given the wine producers adequate quantity and a good quality. But all is not rosy in the vineyard. There is a disease that wreaks havoc in the vineyards and it is believed that this disease now affects 12% of the French total vineyard surface. And it is growing. […]

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Mandatory spraying in the vineyard

It can be costly to refuse to spray against the grasshopper that spread the disease flavescence corée. Flavescence dorée is a bacterial disease that weakens the vine. The only thing you can do to prevent the disease from spreading is to remove the infected vines and to use insecticide against the grasshopper that spread the […]

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Divico, new fungus-resistant grape

A new grape has been born in Switzerland, developed by the research institute Agroscope Changins. The Swiss are good at developing environmentally friendly grapes and this new grape, called Divico, has good resistance to both grey rot, mildiou and oidium. The grape is a cross between two grapes: gamaret and the hybrid bronner. With Divico […]

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Vine leaf showing attack by downy mildew

Downy mildew attacks Burgundy

Coulure has been a problem in the French vineyards this year. But a bigger problem is probably the downy mildew. According to La Vigne, the mildew attacks started early this year in Burgundy, already at the beginning of the flowering. The reason is the wet spring in Burgundy. It rained 300 mm in April and […]

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Unripe grapes. Suffering from coulure, poor fruit setting

Cool flowering causes coulure in the vineyards

After a hard winter the wine growers had hoped for a nice spring and early summer. But instead, diseases have spread in the vineyards.  La Vigne informs about cool and rainy weather during flowering, which has caused the disease coulure in several places, for instance in the Côte d’Or in Burgundy, Alsace and Bordeaux. Coulure […]

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Marselan, recently planted vines

Experimental planting of new vines with resistance to mildew allowed in Languedoc

The producers of the Languedoc has now received its long-awaited permission from the Ministry of Agriculture to start growing, on an experimental basis, new grape varieties that are developed to be resistant against powdery mildew and downy mildew, we read in La Vigne. Not having to treat the vineyards against these two problems is of […]

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Wood disease – maladie de bois

A big problem in many vineyards today is ’maladie de bois’ (wood disease?). It is a fungal disease that attacks the vine and finally kills it (there are several different types, e.g. esca and eutypiose). Previously, it has been effectively treated with a mixture containing arsenic, but since it turned out to be harmful not […]

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Is this Europe’s revenge for the American wine louse?

At the end of the 19th century the vine louse (phylloxera vastatrix) arrived in Europe from North America. It had lived peacefully in symbiosis with the American vines but arriving in Europe, with different vines (vitis vinifera), it killed all vines across the continent over a few decades. A bit over a century later, today, […]

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