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Learning The Different Aspects Of The Vineyard

Aug 7, 2008
The subject of grapes and vineyards is interesting and varied. The vineyard has a long history, and is used for many other things besides making wine. Some people believe that vineyards have been around nearly as long as people. There are a lot of things that can harm the grape vines; therefore it is important to know what those hazards are and ways to avoid them.

The first known usage of grapes was by the Greeks and Phocaeans. The Phocaeans brought many different things to Europe, including the vineyard. The areas of Europe that were most receptive to the vines were France, Spain, Italy and Portugal because they had the best climate for growing grapes.

Now these countries are known as the wine country. Other areas of the world had a harder time accepting the grapes because of the phylloxera bug. However, later on phylloxera resistant vines were discovered. The surrounding area of a vineyard is its terroir. This defines the growing conditions of each vineyard, such as slope, drainage, terrain and sun exposure.

The best conditions for big tasty grapes include lots of sun, proper drainage of the fields and proper pruning of the branches. In recent years, the demand for grapes has become so large that more and more countries are growing them, even if they have never grown grapes before. This drives the price of wines down a little, but good wine is always expensive.

There are certain pests and plant diseases that can affect the vineyard. One of the most well-known and devastating pests was the phylloxera insect. This bug ate the roots of the grape plants and destroyed the plants from below.

This bug nearly wiped out the entire vineyard population of Europe. Then it was carried over here somehow, some people think through transportation of vines to and from Europe and North America. Nowadays, nearly every vineyard has to have phylloxera resistant vines or they will not survive.

North America was the saving factor for the wine industry, as it was the only place that had the phylloxera resistant strains of grapes. Some other plagues to the vineyards are: little-leaf, rabbits, nematodes, gophers, the grape-berry moth, which makes the grapes change color too quickly, climbing cutworms, black rot, crown rot and mildew.

As you can see, tending vineyards is not easy with all these problems that must be faced. Of course, on top of that, pruning and tending must be done to the vines themselves to ensure they produce good grapes and less leaves.

The vineyard is an important place for grapes. Now you know a little more about different aspects of vineyards, such as the history of vineyards and what problems might arise in a growing season. All of these factors make it obvious why good wines and grapes are so expensive. But after tasting one, the price no longer matters.
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