Grape phylloxera (Daktulosphaira vitifoliae (Fitch 1855); family Phylloxeridae, within the order Hemiptera, bugs); originally described in France as Phylloxera vastatrix; equated to the previously described Daktulosphaera vitifoliae, Phylloxera vitifoliae; commonly just called phylloxera (/fɪˈlɒksərə/; from Ancient Greek: φύλλον, leaf, and ξηρός, dry) is a pest of commercial grapevines worldwide, originally native to eastern North America.
These almost microscopic, pale yellow sap-sucking insects, related to aphids, feed on the roots and leaves of grapevines (depending on the phylloxera genetic strain). On Vitis vinifera, the resulting deformations on roots ("nodosities" and "tuberosities") and secondary fungal infections can girdle roots, gradually cutting off the flow of nutrients and water to the vine. Nymphs also form protective galls on the undersides of grapevine leaves of some Vitis species and overwinter under the bark or on the vine roots; these leaf galls are typically only found on the leaves of American vines.
American vine species (such as Vitis labrusca) have evolved to have several natural defenses against phylloxera. The roots of the American vines exude a sticky sap that repels the nymph form when it tries to feed from the vine by clogging its mouth. If the nymph is successful in creating a feeding wound on the root, American vines respond by forming a protective layer of tissue to cover the wound and protect it from secondary bacterial or fungal infections.
Currently there is no cure for phylloxera and unlike other grape diseases such as powdery or downy mildew, there is no chemical control or response. The only successful means of controlling phylloxera has been the grafting of phylloxera-resistant American rootstock (usually hybrid varieties created from the Vitis berlandieri, Vitis riparia and Vitis rupestris species) to more susceptible European vinifera vines.
Sternorrhyncha (was Homoptera)
The phylloxera aphid has a complex life-cycle of up to 18 stages, that can be divided into four principal forms: sexual form, leaf form, root form, and winged form.
The sexual form begins with male and female eggs laid on the underside of young grape leaves. The male and female at this stage lack a digestive system, and once hatched, they mate and then die. Before the female dies, she lays one winter egg in the bark of the vine's trunk. This egg develops into the leaf form. This nymph, the fundatrix (stem mother), climbs onto a leaf and lays eggs parthenogenetically in a leaf gall that she creates by injecting saliva into the leaf. The nymphs that hatch from these eggs may move to other leaves, or move to the roots where they begin new infections in the root form. In this form they perforate the root to find nourishment, infecting the root with a poisonous secretion that stops it from healing. This poison eventually kills the vine. This nymph reproduces by laying eggs for up to seven more generations (which also can reproduce parthenogenetically) each summer. These offspring spread to other roots of the vine, or to the roots of other vines through cracks in the soil. The generation of nymphs that hatch in the autumn hibernate in the roots and emerge next spring when the sap begins to rise. In humid areas, the nymphs develop into the winged form, else they perform the same role without wings. These nymphs start the cycle again by either staying on the vine to lay male and female eggs on the bottom side of young grape leaves, or flying to an uninfected vine to do the same.
Many attempts have been made to interrupt this life cycle to eradicate phylloxera, but the aphid has proven to be extremely adaptable, as no one stage of the life cycle is solely dependent upon another for the propagation of the species.
In the late 19th century the phylloxera epidemic destroyed most of the vineyards for wine grapes in Europe, most notably in France. Phylloxera was introduced to Europe when avid botanists in Victorian England collected specimens of American vines in the 1850s. Because phylloxera is native to North America, the native grape species are at least partially resistant. By contrast, the European wine grape Vitis vinifera is very susceptible to the insect. The epidemic devastated vineyards in Britain and then moved to the European mainland, destroying most of the European grape growing industry. In 1863, the first vines began to deteriorate inexplicably in the southern Rhône region of France. The problem spread rapidly across the continent. In France alone, total wine production fell from 84.5 million hectolitres in 1875 to only 23.4 million hectolitres in 1889. Some estimates hold that between two-thirds and nine-tenths of all European vineyards were destroyed.
In France, one of the desperate measures of grape growers was to bury a live toad under each vine to draw out the "poison". Areas with soils composed principally of sand or schist were spared, and the spread was slowed in dry climates, but gradually the aphid spread across the continent. A significant amount of research was devoted to finding a solution to the phylloxera problem, and two major solutions gradually emerged: grafting cuttings onto resistant rootstocks and hybridization.
By the end of the 19th century, hybridization became a popular avenue of research for stopping the phylloxera louse. Hybridization is the breeding of Vitis vinifera with resistant species. Most native American grapes are naturally phylloxera resistant (Vitis aestivalis, rupestris, and riparia are particularly so, while Vitis labrusca has a somewhat weak resistance to it) but have aromas that are off-putting to palates accustomed to European grapes. The intent of the cross was to generate a hybrid vine that was resistant to phylloxera but produced wine that did not taste like the American grape. The hybrids tend not to be especially resistant to phylloxera, although they are much more hardy with respect to climate and other vine diseases. The new hybrid varieties have never gained the popularity of the traditional ones. In the EU they are generally banned or at least strongly discouraged from use in quality wine, although they are still in widespread use in much of North America, such as Missouri, Ontario, and upstate New York.
Use of a resistant, or tolerant, rootstock, developed by Charles Valentine Riley in collaboration with J. E. Planchon and promoted by T. V. Munson, involved grafting a Vitis vinifera scion onto the roots of a resistant Vitis aestivalis or other American native species. This is the preferred method today, because the rootstock does not interfere with the development of the wine grapes (more technically, the genes responsible for the grapes are not in the rootstock but in the scion), and it furthermore allows the customization of the rootstock to soil and weather conditions, as well as desired vigor.
Not all rootstocks are equally resistant. Between the 1960s and the 1980s in California, many growers used a rootstock called AxR1. Even though it had already failed in many parts of the world by the early twentieth century, it was thought to be resistant by growers in California. Although phylloxera initially did not feed heavily on AxR1 roots, within twenty years, mutation and selective pressures within the phylloxera population began to overcome this rootstock, resulting in the eventual failure of most vineyards planted on AxR1. The replanting of afflicted vineyards continues today.
Many have suggested that this failure was predictable, as one parent of AxR1 is in fact a susceptible V. vinifera cultivar. But the transmission of phylloxera tolerance is more complex, as is demonstrated by the continued success of 41B, an F1 hybrid of Vitis berlandieri and Vitis vinifera. The full story of the planting of AxR1 in California, its recommendation, the warnings, financial consequences, and subsequent recriminations remains to be told. Modern phylloxera infestation also occurs when wineries are in need of fruit immediately, and choose to plant ungrafted vines rather than wait for grafted vines to be available.
The use of resistant American rootstock to guard against phylloxera also brought about a debate that remains unsettled to this day: whether self-rooted vines produce better wine than those that are grafted. Of course, the argument is essentially irrelevant wherever phylloxera exists. Had American rootstock not been available and used, there would be no V. vinifera wine industry in Europe or most places other than Chile, Washington State, and most of Australia. Cyprus was spared by the phylloxera plague, and thus its wine stock has not been grafted for phylloxera resistant purposes.
The only European grapes that are natively resistant to phylloxera are the Assyrtiko grape which grows on the volcanic island of Santorini, Greece, although it is not clear whether the resistance is due to the rootstock itself or the volcanic ash on which it grows; and the Juan Garcia grape variety, autochthonous to the medieval village of Fermoselle in Spain. The Juan Garcia variety remained—untouched by phylloxera—sheltered on the vineyards planted on the man-made land terraces along the mountainous skirts on the gigantic and steep Arribes River Canyon, where the microclimatic conditions discourage the growth of phylloxera.
To escape the threat of phylloxera, wines have been produced since 1979 on the sandy beaches of Provence’s Bouches-du-Rhône, which extends from the coastline of the Gard region to the waterfront village of Saintes Maries de la Mer. The sand, sun and wind in this area has been a major deterrent to phylloxera. The wine produced here is called "Vins des Sables" or "wines of the sands". In the same department, where the canal irrigation system built by the Romans still partly persists to this day, winter flooding is also practiced where possible, for instance south of the city of Tarascon. Flooding the vineyards for 50 days kills all the nymphs that overwinter in the roots or the bark at the bottom of the plant.
Some regions were so blighted by phylloxera that they never recovered, and instead the producers switched crops entirely. The island of Mallorca is one example, where almonds now substitute for vines.
According to wine critic and author Kerin O'Keefe, thanks to tiny parcels of vineyards throughout Europe which were inexplicably unscathed, some vineyards still exist as they were before the phylloxera devastation.
So far, Chilean wine has remained phylloxera free. It is isolated from the rest of the world by the Atacama Desert to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the west, and the Andes Mountains to the east. Phylloxera has also never been found in several wine-growing regions of Australia, including Western Australia and South Australia. The Riesling of the Mosel region has also remained untouched by phylloxera; the parasite is unable to survive in the slate soil.
Until 2005, three tiny parcels of ungrafted Pinot noir that escaped phylloxera were used to produce Bollinger Vieilles Vignes Françaises, one of the rarest and most expensive Champagnes available. In 2004, one of the parcels, Croix Rouge in Bouzy, finally succumbed to phylloxera and was replanted with grafted rootstock.
A rare vintage port is made from ungrafted vines grown on a small parcel, called Nacional, in the heart of the Quinta do Noval estate. No explanation has been found as to why this plot survived while others succumbed.
Another vineyard unaffected by the phylloxera is the Lisini estate in Montalcino in Italy, a half-hectare vineyard of Sangiovese with vines dating back to the mid-1800s. Since 1985, the winery has produced a few bottles of Prefillossero (Italian for "before the phylloxera"). The wine has a following, including Italian wine critic Luigi Veronelli who inscribed on a bottle of the 1987 at the winery that drinking Prefillossero was like listening to ‘the earth singing to the sky’.
Jumilla in southeastern Spain is an important area of ungrafted vineyards, mainly from Monastrell grapes. Those vineyards, however, are not immune to the louse, which is slowly advancing and destroying the Pie Franco vineyard of the Casa Castillo estate, planted in 1942, i.e., when phylloxera had already been in the region for five decades.
Large swaths of vineyards on the slopes of Sicily's volcano Mount Etna also remain free of the phylloxera louse. Some vines are more than one-hundred-fifty years old, predating the phylloxera infestation in Sicily (1879–1880). Part of the reason for this is the high concentration of silica sand and very low (less than 3%) concentration of clay in the volcanic soils. In this environment (> 400m AMSL), the surface water from heavy bouts of rain seals the soil so perfectly that it imprisons the louse, effectively drowning them before they are able to thrive.
Bien Nacido Vineyard in Santa Maria Valley AVA of Santa Barbara, CA is a phylloxera free vineyard. Despite being planted on its own roots, with UC Davis virus free clones, the vineyard has never been affected by phylloxera. The high percentage of sand in the soil creates a mostly uninhabitable substrate for the louse. While Bien Nacido has not been affected, there is a potential, as all of the vines are true Vitis vinifera without scions or grafting. Many of the old vines were planted in 1973 and fall within the blocks G, N, Q and W. The wines of Bien Nacido Estate have a high percentage of these ungrafted and phylloxera-free vines within the cuvée.
Assyrtiko or Asyrtiko is a white Greek wine grape indigenous to the island of Santorini. Assyrtiko is widely planted in the arid volcanic-ash-rich soil of Santorini and other Aegean islands, such as Paros. It is also found on other scattered regions of Greece such as Chalkidiki.On Santorini, many old vine plantations (over 70 years of age) of Assyrtiko exist, of which many are non-grafted. These plantations have shown resistance to Phylloxera. As the only European grape vine known to be resistant to wine blight, there is speculation that the actual source of this resistance may arise from the volcanic ash in which the vines grow, and not from the vine itself.Black Spanish (grape)
Black Spanish was originally assumed to be a seedling of an American hybrid grape which resulted from a crossing of the American Vitis aestivalis species of grape with an unknown Vitis vinifera pollen donor.
However, just recently it has been revealed from microsatellite DNA analysis (a.k.a. Simple Sequence Repeats or SSRs), that the American wild grapevine parent of Black Spanish (a.k.a. Jacquez) is Vitis berlandieri and not Vitis aestivalis. This hybridization is not known to have been purposeful, and may have occurred naturally, as was the case with many of the early American grape cultivars.
Riaz et al. (2019) have now published the genetic profile of the Jacquez grapevine as follows (percentages):
V. vinifera: 69%
V. berlandieri: 21%
V. rupestris: 7%
V. riparia: 3%.
Additional microsatellite DNA analyses conducted on various 'Jacquez cultivars' by Dr Jerry Rodrigues shows that at least two of the European accessions (grapevine collections) which are presently curated in Europe were originally derived from the oldest known Jacquez cultivar (the Madeira Jacquez). The original American hybrid grape parent had found its way to the Madeira Islands sometime in the 18th century (where it was called Jaqué or Jacquet) and thence to France. Lenoir is another such seedling similar to Black Spanish which was grown and used in wine by Nicholas Herbemont of Columbia, South Carolina.
Many other historical names appeared throughout the early history of these Jacquez seedlings such as Jack, Blue French, Ohio, and El Paso, among others. For example, Herbemont tells us that he received Lenoir seeds from a man named Lenoir who cultivated it near Stateburg, South Carolina, in the vicinity of the Santee River sometime in the 18th century. Lenoir had made its way to Texas, where it even took on the names El Paso and Black Spanish. From its wild South Carolina parent (likely, V. rupestris), Lenoir (and also Black Spanish) carries natural resistance to the Phylloxera pest, as well as to the deadly Pierce's Disease, which is a common threat to Vitis vinifera vineyards in warm winter areas of the United States. It now appears that Black Spanish inherited its known tolerance to the deadly Pierce's Disease (PD) from its Vitis berlandieri parentage. Lenoir was also one of the American vines which the grape breeder Thomas Volney Munson experimented with in the late 19th century in Denison, Texas.
Prior to its use by Munson, Lenoir was grown and used in wine by Nicholas Herbemont, although to a lesser extent than the similar, lighter-skinned variety "Warren" ("Brown French") which become known as Herbemont because of his promotion of that variety. Lenoir was introduced to Europe in the mid-19th century, where French vintners were intrigued by its similarity to European Vitis vinifera winegrapes, and gave it the names Jacquez (or Jacquet). It became an important direct producing grape in Europe during the phylloxera crisis, and later was used to some extent as a rootstock to protect the classic vinifera grapes from phylloxera. Ulysses P. Hedrick's famous "Grapes of New York" in 1908 provides the seminal discussion of Lenoir and many of the early North American grapes.Bouchalès
Bouchalès or Grapput is a red French wine grape variety that is grown primarily in Bordeaux and Southwest France wine appellations. Plantings have declined in recent years as the vine has shown high sensitivity to downy mildew and black rot.Old vine plantings of Bouchalès that more than a 100 years exist at Château de la Vieille-Chapelle in the Fronsac AOC located just northwest of the city of Libourne in the "Right Bank" region of Bordeaux. These vines are believed to be some of the oldest vines in Bordeaux (where only 27% of the vines average more than 30 years age ), having likely survived the phylloxera epidemic of the late 19th century due to the ancient Libournais practice of flooding the vineyards in winter which would disrupt the nymph stage in the life cycle of phylloxera.Chinuri
Chinuri (also known as Kaspuri and Kaspuri White) is a white wine grape variety of high acidity. It is associated with Georgian wine, and is grown in Kartli, reaching full maturity by late October. Chinuri is commonly used for both still and sparkling wines by blending with Goruli Mtsvane and Aligote.
It exhibits good resistance to fungal diseases and phylloxera.Clinton (grape)
Clinton is a red variety of hybrid grape. Its phylloxera resistance led to its being planted in small amounts in the eastern Alps, although it imparts a pronounced foxiness and dark red colour to wine made from its juice.Gouget noir
Gouget noir is a red French wine grape variety that is grown in the Allier and Cher departments of central France. The grape was once widely planted with almost 17,000 hectares (42,008 acres) in the mid-19th century but the phylloxera epidemic greatly diminished it numbers and as of 2008 there was just 10 hectares (25 acres) of the grape planted in France.Great French Wine Blight
The Great French Wine Blight was a severe blight of the mid-19th century that destroyed many of the vineyards in France and laid waste the wine industry. It was caused by an aphid (the actual genus of the aphid is still debated, although it is largely considered to have been a species of Daktulosphaira vitifoliae, commonly known as grape phylloxera) that originated in North America and was carried across the Atlantic in the late 1850s. While France is considered to have been worst affected, the blight also did a great deal of damage to vineyards in other European countries.
How the Phylloxera aphid was introduced to Europe remains debated: American vines had been taken to Europe many times before, for reasons including experimentation and trials in grafting, without consideration of the possibility of the introduction of pestilence. While the Phylloxera was thought to have arrived around 1858, it was first recorded in France in 1863, near the former province of Languedoc. It is argued by some that the introduction of such pests as phylloxera was only a problem after the invention of steamships, which allowed a faster journey across the ocean, and consequently allowed durable pests, such as the Phylloxera, to survive the trip.
Eventually, following Jules-Émile Planchon's discovery of the Phylloxera as the cause of the blight, and Charles Valentine Riley's confirmation of Planchon's theory, Leo Laliman and Gaston Bazille, two French wine growers, proposed that the European vines be grafted to the resistant American rootstock that were not susceptible to the Phylloxera. While many of the French wine growers disliked this idea, many found themselves with no other option. The method proved to be an effective remedy. The "Reconstitution" (as it was termed) of the many vineyards that had been lost was a slow process, but eventually the wine industry in France was able to return to relative normality.
The blight also allowed Absinthe to gain even more popularity as consumers switched over due to rising wine prices and low availability.History of Bordeaux wine
The history of Bordeaux wine spans almost 2000 years to Roman times when the first vineyards were planted. In the Middle Ages, the marriage of Henry Plantagenet and Eleanor of Aquitaine opened the Bordeaux region to the English market and eventually to the world's stage. The Gironde estuary and its tributaries, the Garonne and the Dordogne rivers play a pivotal role in the history and success of this region.History of Rioja wine
The history of Rioja wine reflects a long and varied winemaking tradition in the Spanish region of La Rioja, starting with the first Phoenician settlers in 11th century BC. As with many of Europe's most well known wine regions, the Ancient Romans founded many of the Rioja vineyards. Throughout the Middle Ages, pilgrims to the shrine of St. James at Santiago de Compostela passed through the region and carried back with them the reputation of wines from the area. The phylloxera epidemic of the late 19th century was a major catalyst in the expansion and modernization of the Rioja wine industry, with the devastation the French wine industry both opening up the French wine market and bringing an influx of French investment into the region. Today, together with Sherry, Rioja is the most internationally recognized of all Spanish wines.Inca, Spain
Inca (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈiŋkə]) is a town on the Spanish island of Majorca. The population of the municipality is 32,137 (2018) in an area of 58.4 km².
There is a junction station Majorca rail network with trains to Palma, the island's capital, to Sa Pobla, and to Manacor.
Inca is home of the footwear company "Camper".
Inca is known for its wine cellars. The town, like its neighboring municipality Binissalem, was a mass producer of wine from the 17th to 19th centuries when phylloxera destroyed the industry and its inhabitants turned to other activities such as tanning and leather craftsmanship. Many old wine cellars are being used as restaurants for serving traditional Mallorcan dishes like sopes mallorquines, tombet and gató d'ametlles.Juan García (grape)
Juan García is a minor Spanish red grape variety. It is found mainly in the provinces of Zamora and Salamanca and in the autonomous region of Galicia. It is an authorized variety in the Denominación de Origen of Arribes and the Ribeira Sacra.
Juan García is likely a pre-phylloxera native of north-western Spain. It has medium sized, elliptical berries with dark blue-black skins that grow in compact bunches on short pedicels. Bud break is early, vigor is medium-high, and it is highly productive. The variety shows good resistance to powdery mildew.Jules Émile Planchon
Jules Émile Planchon (21 March 1823 – 1 April 1888) was a French botanist born in Ganges, Hérault.Mavro
Mavro (Greek: μαύρο, meaning "black") is an indigenous red grape cultivated on the island of Cyprus. The grape takes its name from its dark colour. The Italian ampelographer, Count Giuseppe di Rovasenda refers to it in 1877 as Cipro Nero (Cyprus black).
An ancient variety, its suitability to the hot Cypriot climate has made it the dominant cultivated vine on the island. It accounts for 70% of cultivated vines. Of note is that Mavro continues to grow on ancient rootstock unlike most mainland European grapes that are grafted on North American rootstock. This is a consequence of Cyprus’ escape from the phylloxera epidemic that had devastated most other European vineyards, in the 19th century.Mavrud is a Bulgarian wine with a similar name made from mavrud grapes. Recent genotyping has shown that these two varieties (Mavro and Mavrud) are not related.Mavro grapes are used in the production of several (predominantly red) local wines. Most notably however, Mavro is blended with the Xynisteri grape for the production of Commandaria, a well-known Cypriot dessert wine. It is also used in the production of the spirit zivania. Harvesting usually takes place in September.Mencia
Mencía is a Spanish grape variety primarily found in the northwestern part of the country. It is planted on over 9,100 hectares (22,000 acres), and it is primarily found in the Bierzo, Ribeira Sacra and Valdeorras regions.Most wines produced from Mencía have traditionally been light, pale, relatively fragrant red wines for early consumption. This style of wine was the result of post-Phylloxera plantations on fertile plains, which tended to give high yields but diluted wine. In recent years, much more concentrated and complex wines have been produced by a new generation of winemakers, primarily from old vines growing on hillsides, often on schist soils, in combination with careful vineyard management. This has led to a renewed interest in Mencía and the Denominaciones de Origen using it, such as Bierzo, Valdeorras, Ribeira Sacra and the little-known Liébana.
Since the 1990s, the grape is increasing in popularity, and an increasing number of noted Spanish winemakers are now working with it.Napa Valley AVA
Napa Valley AVA is an American Viticultural Area located in Napa County in California's Wine Country. Napa Valley is considered one of the premier wine regions in the world. Records of commercial wine production in the region date back to the nineteenth century, but premium wine production dates back only to the 1960s.The combination of Mediterranean climate, geography and geology of the region are conducive to growing quality wine grapes. John Patchett established the Napa Valley's first commercial vineyard in 1858. In 1861 Charles Krug established another of Napa Valley's first commercial wineries in St. Helena. Viticulture in Napa suffered several setbacks in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, including an outbreak of the vine disease phylloxera, the institution of Prohibition, and the Great Depression. The wine industry in Napa Valley recovered, and helped by the results of the Paris Wine Tasting of 1976, came to be seen as capable of producing the best quality wine – equal to that of Old World wine regions. Napa Valley is now a major enotourism destination.Phylloxeridae
Phylloxeridae is a small family of plant-parasitic hemipterans closely related to aphids with only 75 described species. This group comprises two subfamilies (Phylloxerininae and Phylloxerinae) and 11 genera with one that is fossil. The genus type is Phylloxera.
The Phylloxeridae species are usually called Phylloxerans or Phylloxerids.Phylloxeroidea
The Phylloxeroidea is a small superfamily of the Hemiptera within the infraorder Aphidomorpha which is closely related to the aphids which are traditionally included in the Aphidoidea, which is the sister taxon. The two extant families are the pine and spruce aphids (Adelgidae, including the former family Chermesidae, or "Chermidae") and the phylloxerans (Phylloxeridae), including vine phylloxera, a serious pest of grapevines.Sant Sadurní d'Anoia
Sant Sadurní d'Anoia is a municipality in the comarca of the Alt Penedès in Catalonia, Spain; and the centre of production of a sparkling wine known as cava. It is situated in the north-east of the Penedès Depression at the confluence of the Avernó river and the Anoia river. It is made accessible by the A-7 autopista and the RENFE railway line (R4) that connect Barcelona with Manresa and El Vendrell.
The noucentista buildings of the Codorníu cava house on the edge of the town were designed by Josep Puig i Cadafalch.Étraire de la Dui
Étraire de la Dui (also known simply as Étraire) is a red French wine grape variety that was historically grown in the Rhone and Savoy wine regions. Its numbers were hit hard following the phylloxera epidemic and now only a few plantings remain in Savoy and the southeast fringes of the Rhone valley. According to wine expert Jancis Robinson, the grape produces a wine similar in style to Persan and can produce wine with aging potential.