The Botanist and the Vintner: How Wine Was Saved for the World

In the mid 1860s, grapevines in southeastern France inexplicably began to wither and die Jules mile Planchon, a botanist from Montpellier, was sent to investigate He discovered that the vine roots were covered in microscopic yellow insects What they were and where they had come from was a mystery The infestation advanced with the relentlessness of an invading army andIn the mid 1860s, grapevines in southeastern France inexplicably began to wither and die Jules mile Planchon, a botanist from Montpellier, was sent to investigate He discovered that the vine roots were covered in microscopic yellow insects What they were and where they had come from was a mystery The infestation advanced with the relentlessness of an invading army and within a few years had spread across Europe, from Portugal to the Crimea The wine industry was on the brink of disaster The French government offered a prize of three hundred thousand gold francs for a remedy Planchon believed he had the answer and set out to prove it Gripping and intoxicating, The Botanist and the Vintner brings to life one of the most significant, though little known, events in the history of wine.
The Botanist and the Vintner How Wine Was Saved for the World In the mid s grapevines in southeastern France inexplicably began to wither and die Jules mile Planchon a botanist from Montpellier was sent to investigate He discovered that the vine roots wer

  • Title: The Botanist and the Vintner: How Wine Was Saved for the World
  • Author: Christy Campbell
  • ISBN: 9781565124608
  • Page: 483
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “The Botanist and the Vintner: How Wine Was Saved for the World”

    1. Every wine aficionado knows the broad-brush story of phylloxera: microscopic louse, kills grapevines, travels on American vines to Europe in mid-nineteenth century, nearly destroys French, Italian and Spanish wine industries, after much angst and many false starts a solution of grafting European vinifera vines onto phylloxera-resistant American rootstock is found, hence to this day most fine wine in the world comes from such grafted vines. All well and good. What Campbell does is flesh out this [...]

    2. One of the very first predictive uses of evolutionary biology was in saving the European grape vines from the introduced aphid, Phylloxera, in the 1870s. Understanding how the N American vines had coevolved with the pest to become resistant to the ubiquitous pest was, for many scientists, their first application of the theory of evolution. The European plants were defenseless to the pest and had no time to adapt. This rapid death of the plant was complicating the research on the aphid because of [...]

    3. I loved it.Of course this book is a very specific subject for a certain type of person. If you really want to enjoy this book, you've got to be a wine DORK, not just a wine drinker, not just a wine lover.I'll admit that some chapters are not the fastest or most enthralling reads but I will tell you that this captures the History of the spread of Phylloxera across France. It talks about the mysterious symptoms, the dying vines, the confusion over how the louse lived. From initial denial of the ap [...]

    4. Honestly: I Was BoredI love wine, and I have a geeky love of science, so this book seemed perfect for me. When I found myself gritting my teeth at the thought of finishing it (about 3/4 through) – I just skipped to the last chapter to be done with it. This tale of vineyard woe follows the worldwide incursion of the maddeningly mysterious Phylloxera vavtatrix mite (try saying that five times fast). Campbell’s blow-by-blow account of the ecological disaster is very well-written and is cleverly [...]

    5. amazing to realize that the world production of wine was nearly eradicated by the phylloxera aphid, in the late 1800'sere are only a slight percentage of those old world vines remaining, and fewer still being produced in the traditional manner, the bulk of wine today being on grown vines that are genetically modified, hybridized, or grafted on various non-vitis vinefera rootstock, and treated with masses of chemicals and preservatives.

    6. So far, this is an engaging history of phylloxera and its march across France. It's a bit frustrating to have come half-way through the book with only little hints and glimpses of a possible bright future, but that suits the nature of the subjectA: Having finished the book, it remained engaging and entertaining. Highly recommended to anyone who wants some light non-fiction to read and doesn't mind a bit of a vocabulary lesson.

    7. I found this book very interesting and educational. It introduced a historical aspect of grape growing and wine production that I wasn't very familiar with. It also helped demonstrate one of the potential dangers of genetically modified organisms. All in all, a great read if you are interested in the subject matter.

    8. I chose this book for my first report to the men's book club @ Trinity Episcopal in the town of Washington. Entertaining well researched but Christy Campbell didn't leave a very clear trail of crumbs. I had to go into the index and refresh my memory to even recognize the vintner (hard) and the botanist (easier).Good research for me as I acquire knowledge of life in the vineyards.

    9. This is a great book for people who want to know more about the behind the scenes of the wine world. This particular topic: the phyloxera virus of the late 1800s. Nearly all greta French wines were wiped out by, not only this wine louse, but by the scientist and governments inability to decide on proper measures to cure the affliction. I found it to be very interesting read.

    10. Being a sommelier, with degrees in both biology and history, I thought this book would be tailor-made for my enjoyment. And in some ways it was. But I can't say I found it riveting. Too much repitition, too much skipping around in time and place. It could have been better organized, but it was flawless in its research, and by far the most comprehensive treatment of the subject I've seen.

    11. This book provided information in a chronological way that provided information regarding a devastation that almost ending the wine industry. I was impressed with the details on correspondence and names which reveals the author did exhaustive research.

    12. This was informative and interesting. It was, however, very detailed. I find history exciting and enjoyable but the great detail may put off some readers. I don't drink a lot of wine but I do drink some, especially the bubbly sort and I am glad that wine was saved.Recommended.

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