Awards and citations:

1997: Le Prix du Champagne Lanson Noble Cuvée Award for investigations into Champagne for the Millennium investment scams

2001: Le Prix Champagne Lanson Ivory Award for

2011: Vindic d'Or MMXI – 'Meilleur blog anti-1855'

2011: Robert M. Parker, Jnr: ‘This blogger...’:

2012: Born Digital Wine Awards: No Pay No Jay – best investigative wine story

2012: International Wine Challenge – Personality of the Year Award

Saturday, 12 December 2015

The curse of Esca: can 'A-list' pruners combat this vine disease?

 Dying vines affected with esca 
(above and below)

Once the vintage is over the first task for many wine producers now is grubbing up and removing vines that have been killed during the year by wood vine diseases, in particular Esca. You see trailers being hauled out of vineyards loaded up with dead vines – a very sad sight for the spectator but even more dispiriting for producers. 

Current estimates suggests that around 10% or more of vines in France are being killed by Esca and other wood diseases with some grape varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc particularly susceptible to the ravages of this disease. 

Jane Anson in her weekly Thursday column for Decanter last week wrote about Simonit & Sirch, an Italian duo, who are the first to elevate the highly important but often hidden craft of pruning to A-list celebrity status.  

They claim to have a way of combating esca:
‘Our approach grew out as a response to the serious vine disease Esca that we identified in Friuli several decades ago, and that is now widespread globally,’ he continues. ‘Esca can enter the vine through the cuts left behind by pruning, and repeated careless pruning will weaken the wood fatally. Our method offers natural protection, without chemicals, by working with the flow of the sap instead of against it’.
(
If their claim has substance, then this will be a big step forward in getting esca under control. 

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