Mildew is on everyone’s lips, but what is it?

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Downy mildew first appeared in France in 1878. Work carried out by INRAE identified its appearance following the importation of wild American vines to save and combat the phylloxera crisis.

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Downy mildew, the vine’s bane

Downy mildew first appeared in France in 1878, when wild American vines were imported to combat the phylloxera crisis. The work carried out by INRAE has made it possible to identify it. France then exported its hybrids and rootstocks, contributing to the spread of mildew in the 19th century.

This fungus develops in warm, humid conditions, and initially attacks the leaves, manifesting itself as “oil spots”. The leaves dry up and the plant can no longer feed itself. If the bunches are affected, the harvest is lost and the grapes may also dry out.

It is possible to prevent the spread of mildew with treatments, but this depends on the pressure of the attack and it can be difficult to save the vineyard. At L’Encantada, our small parcel was relatively unscathed and we hope to have a good harvest soon. Unfortunately, 2023 will go down in history for its exceptional attack of mildew, due to a very wet spring. Let’s show solidarity and respect for the sometimes desperate efforts of winegrowers to combat this scourge.