Esca-struck vine marked with red paint.
After a walk of kilometres up and down the rows in the vines of Loisy-en-Brie accompagnied by a brush and red paint, we are now able to seperate the diseased vines from the healthy ones.
In the vineyard, that we have taken over by November 1st, approximately 10 percent of the vines carry the Esca. Just like our other plot before the efforts of last year.
Esca is a disease that spreads in many of the vineyards of Europe due to amongst others the global warmning. Only some years ago Esca was not as commonly spread as now where it is rather common to see vineyards like ours with 10 percent diseased plants. Esca slowly kills the vines, and is on top of that quite contagious. Before it was controlled with a chemical that is today forbidden.
Objective: Avoid touching the disease
In 2006 we managed to remove the branches of the Esca-plants before the vendange, where the disease traditionally spreads a lot. This is because you pick the grapes so fast, that you do not always look too carefully at the vine before touching it. And if it is an Esca-carrier this will almost certainly spread the disease further, when you touch the next and healthy plants.
In its first phases the disease shows as the vine gradually looks more and more emaciated. An Esca-vine has only few leaves, produces few grapes, and those, that there are, look sickly and poor. When the leaves have fallen it is practically impossible to tell an Esca-struck vine from a healthy one. With no leaves there are just the naked branches left, and they look the same.
Alain has been in the two vineyards with a red spray to make it possible for us to identify, which vines we must remove later before the pruning begins. This year there will be no time for the heavy machinery, necessary to dig up roots. But at least we can try to prevent that the the diseased branches touch the tools we will use to prune the healthy vines.
View from the new vineyard in Loisy-en-Brie.
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