Vineyard pests

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Phylloxera is a tiny insect that feeds on Vitis Vinifera grape roots, stunting the growth of vines and eventually killing vines. This pest really prefers clay soils and is not a problem on sandy soils such as the Cuyo Desert in Mendoza, Argentina.

Grape Phylloxera winter on the roots and in the summer when temps exceed sixty degrees fahrenheit they start feeding and growing.

A pesticide program will not eradicate Phylloxera populations because the pesticide cannot soak into thick, non porous clay soils…

In the year 1860, grape Phylloxera came really close to destroying the French wine industry.
It was discovered that American rootstocks were generally more resistant to grape Phylloxera, so these were grafted with French rootstocks to make a more resistant plant…

Categories: Wine Wisdom

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4 Comments on “Vineyard pests”

  1. Beatriz Maggio
    November 25, 2012 at 9:37 pm #

    I think a similar situation attacked Carmenere grape in Chile back in the late1800’s. It had practicaly been lost than I think in the 90’s the resurgence of Carmenere came back. I think…..

    • November 27, 2012 at 1:29 am #

      So far Chile has remained Phylloxera free like Argentina as well. The Aconcagua desert has a sandy top soil and for some reason, Grape Phylloxera only like clay soil. So Chile’s vintners have been actually very lucky because unlike the French, the Chileans have not had to graft their vines. They better hope it stays this way because Grape Phylloxera can be very devastating…

  2. Irene Caplan
    November 26, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

    In our area of Chianti deers and wild boars are also a big problem to the vines. The deers love the young tender leaves from the vines and the wild boars just trample over any humid and fresh soil they find in order to stick their big noses in the ground looking for food. The comunes do not have funds to help the vine growers, they must hunt these down themselves. Lots of love;MA

    Date: Sun, 25 Nov 2012 21:20:59 +0000 To: irene_caplan@hotmail.com

    • November 27, 2012 at 1:31 am #

      You are very right! Maybe these animals could be seen as animal pests but not bug pests… Still a nuisance to Vitis Vinifera vines though…

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