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Issue # One - February 2013

Spreading vine maladies raise concern in France

Jancis Robinson devotes a column in the Financial Times to “the great vine decline.” Speaking to “worried vignerons” during her recent visits to taste the 2011s in Burgundy and the Rhône, she discovered heightened concern regarding maladies affecting grapevines. They include esca, a disease of the wood which seems “more likely to affect old vines.” Leaves and stems can shrivel during the growing season, leading to “sudden death.” Two other diseases raising alarm are eutypa dieback (or eutypiose), recognized for some time, and the newer botryosphaeria dieback or black dead arm (BDA). These maladies appear to be spreading between regions and varieties. Despite research and monitoring, she notes, “very little is known about how and why” the maladies are becoming more widely dispersed. The author cites one observer who contends the spread could be connected with more vigorous rootstocks.


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