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Pre-Phylloxera

pre-phylloxera (GB)

Term for a European (especially French) wine from before the phylloxera, at least before 1860. It was around this time that the pest first appeared in Europe. Again and again it is claimed and when tasting old wines it is reported that the quality of the wines from unrefined, original vines - so-called direct carriers - allegedly was clearly better before this disaster. The doctrine is that the finishing has no influence on the wine quality and the properties of the rhizome are not passed on to the top or the wine made from it. However, there can be physiological-chemical interactions between the two parts.

However, only a very few privileged people who taste ancient wines at special events have the right to make comparisons. But even these cannot make a direct, objective judgment, as a 150-year-old wine is difficult to compare with today's products due to the changes that have taken place during this time. And also the comparison for example one Merlot from Argentina (where root-true vines are common) with a Merlot from France from a refined vine is not meaningful as a comparison. In order to enable a serious comparison, one would have to grow both vine varieties in one vineyard at best, several vine varieties, hope that the (still occurring) phylloxera is missing, win wines from it and compare.

However, since a single attempt for an objective judgment is far from sufficient according to scientific criteria, one would have to practice this in different vineyards, under different climatic conditions (years), with different winemaking methods and also with several grape varieties. Nobody can and does not want to do this effort for commercial reasons. The champagne house Bollinger owns plots with over 150-year-old Pinot Noir vines in front of phylloxera, from which an exquisite champagne is pressed. In Austria, Germany and also in other countries, there are quite a few producers who cultivate real vines. But the comparison problems mentioned above also apply to these wines. See also under grapevine,

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