The American Civil War

1258 Words6 Pages
In 1862, as the tribulation of the American Civil War unraveled, across the ocean an invasion of European vineyards began. Today, as we look out at the vineyards of the lower Rhône valley and admire their well-ordered appearance of tamed nature, we would not think that this was once a scene of desolation. Yet, in the mid-1860s, vines around Roquemaure, a small town and commune located in the South of France, Rhône, began to dry up and die. Over a span of 15 years, as an unexplainable plague spread across Europe, almost the entire country of France was "phylloxerated.” Withered. Wiped out. Consequences, both economically and socially, for people and organizations around the world were dire. Recovery from this catastrophic episode took…show more content…
Originating from eastern and southern United States, phylloxera lives on native American vines. Developing on mature storage roots, phylloxera disrupts their function, allowing countless secondary fungal pathogens to be introduced. Early signs of a phylloxera infestation include yellowing of leaves and stunting of growth as the leaves lose function. Symptoms will appear within three years, ultimately killing the vines between five to six years depending on the phylloxera genotype. Phylloxera is characterized by having three-jointed antennae, the third of which is the longest, and its overlapping wings resting flat on the back. It belongs to the order of Homoptera, and shares commonalities between two families of that sub-order: the plant-lice and bark-lice. Their lifecycle, from egg to adult, is gradual and complex—one species is known to progress through 21 different phases. Phylloxera adults are all female and reproduce asexually. One adult female is capable of producing 1) 200 eggs per cycle and 2) having several cycles in a lifetime. Multiple alleged sources are credited with the responsibility of the initial spread of Phylloxera. One widely credited source is“Count” Agoston Haraszthy. Haraszthy started Buena Vista Winery, one of Sonoma County’s oldest winery, in 1857. He traveled to Europe in 1861, visiting several vineyards throughout France, Germany and Switzerland, unknowingly
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