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Pre-Phylloxera

pre-phylloxera (GB)

Name for a European (especially French) wine from before the phylloxera that is, at least before 1860. Around this time, the pest occurred for the first time in Europe. Time and again it is claimed and tastings of old wines reported that the quality of the wines from unrefined, original vines - so-called direct carriers - was allegedly better before this catastrophe. The doctrine is that the finishing has no influence on the quality of the wine and the properties of the rhizome are not passed on to the top or the vinified wine. However, there may be physiological-chemical interactions between the two parts.

A possibility of comparison, however, remains reserved for very few privileged individuals who taste ancient wines at special events. But even this is a direct, objective judgment is not possible because a 150-year-old wine due to the changes made in this time is difficult to compare with today's products. And also the comparison for example of one Merlot from Argentina (where root-resistant vines are common) with a merlot from France from a grafted vine is not meaningful as a comparison. In order to make a serious comparison possible, one would have to cultivate both vine varieties in a vineyard at best of several grape varieties, hope that the (still occurring) phylloxera fails to win wines from it and compare.

However, since according to scientific criteria a single attempt for an objective judgment is not enough for a long time, it would have to be practiced in different vineyards, under different climatic conditions (years), with different wine-making methods and also with several grape varieties. Of course, nobody can do this effort for commercial reasons. The champagne house Bollinger has plots of more than 150 years old Pinot Noir vines before phylloxera, from which an exquisite champagne is pressed. In Austria, Germany and also in other countries there are quite a few producers who cultivate root-free vines. But also for these wines above mentioned comparison problems apply. See also below grapevine,

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