Dying on the Vine: How Phylloxera Transformed Wine

Overview


Dying on the Vine chronicles 150 years of scientific warfare against the grapevine’s worst enemy: phylloxera. In a book that is highly relevant for the wine industry today, George Gale describes the biological and economic disaster that unfolded when a tiny, root-sucking insect invaded the south of France in the 1860s, spread throughout Europe, and journeyed across oceans to Africa, South America, Australia, and California—laying waste to vineyards wherever it landed. He tells how scientists, viticulturalists, ...
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Dying on the Vine: How Phylloxera Transformed Wine

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Overview


Dying on the Vine chronicles 150 years of scientific warfare against the grapevine’s worst enemy: phylloxera. In a book that is highly relevant for the wine industry today, George Gale describes the biological and economic disaster that unfolded when a tiny, root-sucking insect invaded the south of France in the 1860s, spread throughout Europe, and journeyed across oceans to Africa, South America, Australia, and California—laying waste to vineyards wherever it landed. He tells how scientists, viticulturalists, researchers, and others came together to save the world’s vineyards and, with years of observation and research, developed a strategy of resistance. Among other topics, the book discusses phylloxera as an important case study of how one invasive species can colonize new habitats and examines California’s past and present problems with it.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A fantastic book and was a great read from cover to cover. . . . If you're at all interested in the history of wine, ecology, entomology, or just overall good writing, I highly recommend picking up a copy of this book!"--The Academic Wino

"Describes for the first time in great detail the worldwide grape blight of the late 19th century."--College & Research Libraries News

"A fascinating read for anyone interested in grapevines and/or the philosophy of science."--Choice

The Academic Wino

“A fantastic book and was a great read from cover to cover. . . . If you’re at all interested in the history of wine, ecology, entomology, or just overall good writing, I highly recommend picking up a copy of this book!”
College & Research Libraries News

“Describes for the first time in great detail the worldwide grape blight of the late 19th century.”
Agricultural History - James Simpson

“It should be read not just by curious wine drinkers, but also by those with a serious interest in the history of plant disease.”
Choice - G. S. Howell

“A fascinating read for anyone interested in grapevines and/or the philosophy of science.”
The Economist

"Fascinating. . . . [Gale] brings fresh insights to the tale."
Zester Daily

"Explores the crisis with fresh details and stunning insights. Nominated for a 2012 IACP Award, Dying on the Vine is an excellent and immendsely readable history of wine and its continuing transformation in the wake of an environmental disaster."
Wine Spectator

“[A] fine reference for the botanically inclined and researcher alike. So why dwell on a plague that happened almost 150 years ago? Because it is still with us, waiting to mutate, as it did in California in the 1980s, eventually destroying thousands of acres of vines.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780520265486
  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Publication date: 7/5/2011
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 1,233,979
  • Product dimensions: 9.10 (w) x 6.26 (h) x 1.02 (d)

Meet the Author


George Gale is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the author of Theory of Science. He has written about phylloxera for The World of Fine Wine magazine and other publications.
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Table of Contents


List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments

Introduction

1. Disaster Strikes: “All your vines are fatally condemned to disappear, Monsieur”
2. La Defense: Sand, Submersion, and Sulfiding
3. La Reconstitution
4. The Underground Battle: Grafting on American Rootstock
5. Phylloxera Makes the European Grand Tour
6. The Bug Goes South: New Venues, Same Story
7. The Old Americans, or How the Fox Conquered Europe
8. Phylloxera Breaks Out (Twice) in California

Conclusion

Appendix A. Life Cycle of Phylloxera
Appendix B. American Wild Grape Species
Appendix C. Old American Varieties

Glossary
Bibliography
Index

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