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Babo August-Wilhelm

The Kurpfalz-Bavarian court official Johann Lambert Gregor Reichs Freiherr von Babo (1725-1799) was city clerk in Mannheim and Weinheim in Baden-Württemberg. He was the founder of the Baron family of Babo, which produced several important wine-growing experts. His son Lambert Joseph Leopold von Babo (1790-1862) began studying law and then chemistry. After attending the 1st higher agricultural school in Möglin ad Oder, his agricultural education was promoted. After agricultural study trips, he became a landowner Weinheim low. In 1832 he founded Johann with the pomologist Butcher (1789-1852) the agricultural club garden. Mainly seeds were grown and tested here. He wrote as an agronomist and oenologist some important works such as “Die Wein- und table grapes the German vineyards and gardens ”(1836 with butcher),“ The vine and its varieties ”(1844) with the varieties of that time, as well as "The main principles of agriculture" (1851).

Lambert Joseph Leopold von Babo / August Wilhelm Freiherr von Babo

His son August-Wilhelm Freiherr von Babo (1827-1894) is certainly the best known of the Babo family. He followed in his father's footsteps, enjoyed extensive agricultural training at several universities (e.g. Heidelberg) and took over the management of a test wine estate in Karlsruhe. In 1860 he answered the call Klosterneuburg near Wien and became the first director of the same year Klosterneuburg Wine Institute in Lower Austria. Based on that by Carl Joseph Napoleon Balling (1805-1868) invented saccharometer Babo developed the Klosterneuburger Mostwaage (KMW) in 1861. This weighing scale is still in today Austria the official device for determining the Most weight,

In 1869 he founded Austria's first regular wine magazine "Weinlaube". It still exists today as the "Austrian Wine Newspaper". Later he published a wine calendar, which also still appears today as the "Austrian Wine Calendar". He became known and famous for his lectures, known as “field fairs” and often held in vineyards, during which he passed on his extensive knowledge to the winegrowers. On his many travels through the countries of the monarchy, he collected practically all of the grape varieties at that time (there were over 60 in 1869) and made many attempts. Between 1881 and 1883 he wrote together with his son-in-law Edmund Mach (1846-1901) the "Handbook of Viticulture and Cellar Management", which became the standard work for several generations of winegrowers with five editions.

In 1867 Babo received a range of American grape varieties from his friend Jakob Ludwig Schiebler, formerly Ebermann (1810-1882), the director of horticulture in Celle-Hannover, as a real Danes gift. Babo immediately started experimenting with it. At that time, the first alarming news from France about the phylloxera, but no one knew then that the pest had crossed the pond with American vines. In January 1870 the first report on phylloxera appeared in the "Weinlaube" and in the same year the first damage occurred in Klosterneuburg vineyards (you even know the location, it was on the Liebertsacker, at the so-called "Yellow Bank"). This is what Babo does later - when you infect the fact that it is causing the plague American vines recognized - wrongly accused and accused him of having introduced phylloxera into Austria.

There were downright "wine riots" against him and his establishment when the first vineyard clearings were ordered by the state and many hawkers perished. At times he had to make the way from his apartment to the institute under gendarmerie protection in order to be safe from the anger of the angry winegrowers. Babo started the fight against phylloxera. However, all measures such as petroleum and carbon disulphide injected into the ground or the spreading of fine-meshed nets over the vineyards to catch the flyable lice were unsuccessful or were far too complex and expensive. In 1880, almost all of the vineyards in Klosterneuburg were infected by the pest and had to be largely cleared.

As an alternative, Babo suggested the cultivation of tobacco plants and tomatoes (Austrian paradiser). This also failed because tomatoes were not known in Wien at the time. Another initiative was very successful, however, as Babo promoted the cultivation of ribisl (currants) and cherries for the production of wine. In 1874, the situation was so dreary that a "phylloxera commission" was founded to track down the phylloxera herd. Then, at this time, the solution to the problem came from France, namely the grafting of European noble rice on American rhizomes, the so-called finishing, In 1876, Babo and the Klosterneuburg Institute recommended that local winegrowers generally apply this procedure. At the institution there were 2,000 cuttings the American variety Taylor created and multiplied and this documents made available to the communities.

Then in 1889 the wrong one occurred mildew for the first time in Klosterneuburg . In addition to the phylloxera and the real one mildew this fungal disease was also introduced from North America. This deserving man died two years later and was duly honored with a bust erected in the garden of the Klosterneuburg Wine School in 1927 (see picture above). Finally, his son Baron Max von Babo (1862-1933) is also worth mentioning. He played in as an Austrian consul China when founding the winery that still exists today Yantai Changyu a key role. See also under Viticulture personalities,

Left picture: Society for the History of Wine
Center and right picture: Klosterneuburger Kultur-Gesellschaft

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