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The Botanist and the Vintner

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Overview

In the mid-1860s, grapevines in southeastern France inexplicably began to wither and die. Jules-Émile Planchon, a botanist from Montpellier, was sent out to investigate. He discovered that the vine roots were covered in microscopic yellow insects. What they were—and where they had come from—was a mystery. The infestation advanced with the relentlessness of an invading army. Within a few years the plague had spread across Europe; even California's old-world vines succumbed to the aphid's assault. The wine industry...

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Overview

In the mid-1860s, grapevines in southeastern France inexplicably began to wither and die. Jules-Émile Planchon, a botanist from Montpellier, was sent out to investigate. He discovered that the vine roots were covered in microscopic yellow insects. What they were—and where they had come from—was a mystery. The infestation advanced with the relentlessness of an invading army. Within a few years the plague had spread across Europe; even California's old-world vines succumbed to the aphid's assault. The wine industry was on the brink of disaster. Planchon believed he had the answer and set out to convince the skeptical wine-making and scientific establishments. It was a mission that would take decades.

Gripping and intoxicating, The Botanist and the Vintner brings to life one of the most significant, though little-known, events in the history of wine.

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times
“A taut, suspense-filled account.”
Wine Spectator
“A must-read.”
Los Angeles Times
“A true-life detective story ripe for the writing.”
San Antonio Express-News
“An engrossing read. And certainly it is information every wine lover should know, making it perhaps the wine book of the year to absorb and consider.”
Entertainment Weekly
“Ecology, politics, and free-market economics collide in this brisk and surprisingly modern tale of scientific sleuthing.”
From the Publisher
“Ecology, politics, and free-market economics collide in this brisk and surprisingly modern tale of scientific sleuthing.”
Los Angeles Times
“A true-life detective story ripe for the writing.”
The New York Times
“A taut, suspense-filled account.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781565125285
  • Publisher: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill
  • Publication date: 3/17/2006
  • Pages: 344
  • Sales rank: 997,483
  • Product dimensions: 5.19 (w) x 7.98 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

CHRISTY CAMPBELL is a British writer and journalist. He has written for the Telegraph since 1990. The Botanist and the Vintner won the 2005 Glenfiddich Food and Drink Award.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 24, 2013

    I read this book as research for my latest fiction story. I'm wr

    I read this book as research for my latest fiction story. I'm writing about a small-scale vintner in 1888 Colorado. Now only did I find out the details regarding the widespread aphid infestation, I also learned many interesting facts about vines and grafting. Mr. Campbell writes non-fiction in an easy-to-read way and I enjoyed this book.

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