09 December, 2001

Esca up in smoke

Cut branches burn in the brouette, Loisy-en-Brie.

The day after the tornado is quiet and beautiful. Decembersunny and made in heaven to go work in the vines.

Alain spends most of the light hours of saturday in Loisy-en-Brie in the very extreme end of the Côte des Blancs to get rid of Esca-infested Meunier-vines in our two plots.

It is some weeks ago now, that he spent some hours spraying the diseased plants with red colour. Today it would have been impossible to distinguish diseased plants from healthy ones. Once grapes are gone and leaves fallen, the naked branches look quite alike no matter their condition.

Alain removes all branches so that only the stump remains. The entire root is a different story that cannot be removed without the intervention of a lot more horsepower, so for the time being they are left where they are.

Red alert: An Esca-diseased plant to be removed.

The two plots all together make up a bit more than one hectare. In one day Alain removes almost 70 percent of the diseased plants. There are a lot more in the new plot, that we have received back in a rather poor condition.

We would have preferred to see no more Esca in the old plot, since we used quite some time last year to remove diseased plants with roots and this year to replant more than 400 replacements.

But this is not how it all went, and it is a destiny we share with a lot of others that inside and outside Champagne fight this infectious disease as well. It is spreading rapidly these years because of the warmer weather and because the chemical to fight it has been forbidden in some years now.

På dansk

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