The vine pandemic’s lessons from history

The phylloxera plague swept across Europe and beyond in the 1860s, ruining almost all vineyards. Does its tale have a moral for us today?

15th March, 2020
The vine pandemic’s lessons from history
Grafting and planting vines was the only way to stop phylloxera in its tracks

In 1862, vines in the Upper Dordogne began to turn black and die. Shocked vineyard owners began to look for any sign of disease, but they could find nothing obvious on the vines.

Over just a few months, a black plague of rotting and dying vines spread down from the Dordogne and its walled towns and villages heading for the vineyards of Bordeaux. Vineyard after vineyard was simply wiped out, and no obvious cause could be...

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