The vines of the pretty hill-top village flourished in the 19th century until they were devastated by the vine louse
Bugs such as the vine louse
or the rust mite, fungi such as mildew, or viruses such as the GFLV can give the vines a hard time.
The vine louse
is believed to be native to the eastern United States, where the rootstocks are resistant to the pests.
As a testament, there is a small plot of old vines within the estate infected with the vine louse
When the vine louse
, phylloxera, struck the region in the late 19th century, the vineyard area shrank from 49,000 hectares to a little more than 700 hectares, within the space of five years.
Every cloud has a silver lining, and Rioja's rise to prominence occurred when the vine louse
, Phylloxera, devastated the French vineyards in the 1870s.
Firstly, it controls phylloxera, a vine louse
that feeds off the roots of its host.
The march of the pest was remorseless and unstoppable, but making the connection between the vine disease and the vine louse
, and then tracing its origin to North America was a remarkable piece of detection.
According to a past owner of the revered Chateau Cheval-Blanc, pre-phylloxera (the vine louse
which devastated the French wine industry in the late 19th century), the predominant grape in Bordeaux had beenMalbec, and not Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, which are standard today.
Moreover, the vines are still on their original rootstock, because the region has never been blighted by the vine louse
The grape variety virtually disappeared in the latter half of the 19th century, when the vine louse
, phylloxera, decimated Bordeaux.
Chile's 'golden age' was at the end of the 19th century, when the European wine world was devastated by the vine louse