French Scientists Create New Disease-Resistant Grapes
France is home to some of the best wines in the world. There is much work that is required to produce a good crop of grapes and keep grape vines in the best shape. Two major foes threaten the vines each year. The fungal diseases powdery mildew and downy mildew can kill grape vines quickly.
In order to prevent fungal diseases from killing off their vines, French growers have to spray the vines as often as 15 times each year. This amount of spraying has led to controversy among many in France concerned with health and the environment. Just this year, several students were sickened when they came in contact with spray used on the vines.
In order to reduce spraying and help the environment, French scientists have been working on developing a varieties of grapes that are resistant to fungal diseases. In order to develop this new disease-resistant grapes, the scientists hybridized french grapes with varieties from both the Americas and Asia.
The French scientists believe that they have achieved a remarkable result. They have developed four varieties of grapes that are disease-resistant. The names of the grapes are Araban, Floreal, Voltis and Vidoc. These grapes are being grown experimentally, and they will be able to be used for wine making sometime around the year 2020.
These new grape varieties require only two sprayings per year instead of 15. These two sprayings are needed to eliminate some types of insects that can plague the grape vines.
While scientists are happy with their new disease-resistant grapes, wine experts are not so thrilled. Some have tasted the juice from the new grape varieties, and they claim that the grapes have a very bland taste.
French wine purists are also upset that the old varieties used to produce the exceptional wines for which France is known will begin to fade away. They believe that this will lead to a lessening of the French reputation for exceptional wines.
The true test of the new grape varieties will come when the general public gets a chance to taste wine from the new grapes. If the consumer is pleased, more wine will be produced from disease-resistant varieties. If the public does not like the wine from the new grapes, scientists may have to go back to the drawing board.
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