Phylloxera Part 3
Welcome to Vine to Wine this is your host Linda Moran. I am certain many of you have heard or read references to phylloxera. Today we will continue our series explaining what phylloxera is and what it has to do with wine.
Over the past few days we have learned phylloxera is a root louse that nearly destroyed the European wine industry in the late 1800’s and that crossbreeding hybrids in an attempt to solve the problem was not working because the resistant North American rootstock was exuding aromas that were not classically European, and this was unacceptable to the European community. The intent of the crossbreeding experiments was to create a hybrid vine resistant to phylloxera and produce wine that did not taste or smell like the American grape. It wasn’t working out. So a group of researchers finally determined the preferred method of saving the European wine industry was to graft their vines on to the resistant American root stock. It seemed the root stock did not intrude upon the development of the grapes on the above ground portion of the plant. Even better it has been found that the root stock can be further hybridized and customized to the soil the climate whatever the need and the grapes will maintain their integrity. Unfortunately not all rootstock is the same and although under control now phylloxera has not disappeared from