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For the first time in over 300 years, wine is getting an update. Here's how the CSIRO are future-proofing our industry and making wine even more delicious (if that's even possible?).
For over 300 years, grapevines have remained pretty much the same.
Grapes - Drink - Fermentation - Perfect - Reality
Some might say this is because the grapes (and the drink derived from their fermentation) are near damn perfect. The reality is, however, that change has just been too difficult.
Unfortunately, while vines have stayed the same, their world has not. Diseases have spread, climates have changed and we've altered the chemistry of their environment.
France - Home - Wine - Birthplace - Beverage
Though France may be the spiritual home of wine, the birthplace of the beverage as we know it is a little to the east.
Thousands of years ago, one lucky grapevine was shipped over to Europe. Its careful breeding—cultivating plants that produced the best grapes for wine—has led to the vines we see in vineyards everywhere.
Dr - Ian - Dry - Group - Leader
But Dr. Ian Dry, group leader of the new CSIRO research projects, says, "Unfortunately, the environment that grapes were bred in hundreds of years ago in Europe didn't pose the same challenges that grape growers face today."
In the 1800s, trade between America and Europe began to grow. But along with profitable business came the most devastating pathogens know to grapekind. Powdery mildew and downy mildew, and the aphid-esque phylloxera bug found their way into European vines and began to wreak havoc.
Powdery - Downy - Mildew - Cell - Walls
Powdery and downy mildew pierced through the cell walls of leaves with long tubular suckers to feed, reducing the quality and yield of wine. Below ground, the phylloxera bugs attacked vine roots and massacred vineyards across the continent.
The wild American grapes had been growing alongside phylloxera for thousands of years, and their roots had developed a resistance to the bug. Unfortunately, their grapes produced wine of inferior quality, so the grape growers simply...
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