Can Science Save Our Favorite Wines?

Oct 27, 2018

(Winemag) - Chardonnay is among the most popular and recognizable wines in the world. The grape’s genes essentially have been passed down from a single plant in eastern France centuries ago. This genetic consistency can be seen as a good thing, as it keeps the grape recognizable. But its genes are also responsible for how it reacts to the environment, including the pests and diseases common to any vineyard.

One such global scourge is what’s known as “downy mildew,” a fungus-like pathogen that can rot fruit and strip a plant’s leaves so its grapes can’t produce enough sugar to ferment into good wine.

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