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Phylloxera: How Wine was Saved for the World Paperback – 4 Oct 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial; (Reissue) edition (4 Oct 2010)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0007115369
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007115365
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.4 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 430,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'An entertainingly educational story of scientific exploration, political filibustering, profiteering skulduggery and a disaster that was nearly total… This is not just a book for wine buffs. An intoxicating read.' Peter Millar, The Times

'The extraordinary tale of how France's wine industry was saved from a devastating plague by the New World.' Daily Mail

'Such are Christy Campbell's superb story-telling skills that, notwithstanding my woeful ignorance of science, botany and viticulture, I found myself utterly hooked on this fascinating piece of social history.' Hugh Massingberd, Daily Telegraph

'As Christy Campbell shows so vividly, the desperate search for both cause and cure involves all the elements of a good thriller… such a good read.' Joanna Simon, Sunday Times

'Phylloxera is a rattling good read; the author handles scientific material with such a nimble touch that at no point was I overcome by the onslaught of entomological detail.' Giles MacDonogh, Literary Review

The Times

'A rip-snorting, cliff-hanging story of how wine was saved'

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Budge Burgess on 31 Dec 2004
Format: Paperback
Phylloxera are tiny insects, native to the USA, which attack vines. They are almost invisible to the naked eye. While one variety of phylloxera attacks vine leaves, it is the second variety which poses a far more destructive threat. It attacks the roots. It can take up to ten years before the vine is actually killed.
In the 1860s, wine was rapidly growing in popularity; vineyards were being established on a worldwide scale, with Australia and the US beginning to break into the international market. For the first time, vines were being transported across the oceans in significant numbers as breeders tried to improve the various strains.
And in 1863, the small yellow louse known as phylloxera hitched a lift and invaded France, the country which saw itself as the home of wine. The French wine industry was almost destroyed. Frantic efforts were launched to find a solution. Finally, it was realised that native American rootstocks were resistant to assault, and that it was possible to graft European vines to them.
Problem solved? Not quite. Phylloxera are resilient little pests ... and they are still at work. They're now attacking vineyards in California, South America, and New Zealand. Replanting is expensive - and it can take ten years for a vine to produce quality grapes and become economically viable.
Christy Campbell tells the story with artistry and humour. In the end, it's not just a tale of wine, it's not just a piece of history. This is one of the earliest warnings of how vulnerable human society can be to even the tiniest of insects. In an era of globalisation, we may yet be opening ourselves up to global attack by new strains of insect or bacteria.
Fascinating, highly readable book which should appeal to the wine lover, the historian, or anyone who likes a good mystery ... or a well written analysis.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of the best wine books I ever read, full of history, geography and wine science all in a lovely story.
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What an interseting and well researched read this was. Anybody interested in history, France or wine should read it. Absolutely facinating.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 1 review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Comprehensive analysis of root loose that has impacted that world over 17 May 2007
By Wine lover - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Undoubtly the most comprehensive report written on the root loose that has impacted almost every continent on the planet. An excellent guide for anyone interested in wine and history. Highly recommended for budding enologists and winemakers.
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