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By Harry W. Paul

This ebook examines the function of technology within the civilization of wine in sleek France by way of studying viticulture, the technological know-how of the wine itself, and oenology, the learn of winemaking. jointly they could boast of no less than significant triumphs: the construction of the post-phylloxera vines that repopulated the late-nineteenth-century vineyards devastated by way of the ailment; and the certainty of the advanced constitution of wine that finally ended in the improvement of the common wine versions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, and poo. For these attracted to agriculture, oenologists and historians of France, this can be the 1st research of the clinical conflict over how you can keep the French vineyards and the 1st account of the expansion of oenological technological know-how in France because Chaptal and Pasteur.

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Extra resources for Science, Vine and Wine in Modern France

Example text

Millardet carefully avoided a direct challenge to Ravaz's research results by accepting them 30 Reinventing the Vine as valid only for the bad conditions in which the vines grew in Ravaz's pots, but he also saved his own scientific work by rejecting Ravaz's research as inapplicable to normal vine culture. Paul Gouy, in his Revue des hybrides franco-americains, porte-greffes et producteurs directs (RHFA), supported Millardet and attacked Foex. In 1898, Gouy, "viticulteur a Vals pres Aubenas" in the Ardeche, founded this journal, with the help of "nombreuses Notabilites viticoles," to deal exclusively with the theoria and praxis of viticulture.

What the method showed was the phylloxeric receptivity of the radicles of the plants, which was interesting but of no use in determining the resistance of a vine. More often than not, the least resistant vines were those whose radicles were least attacked. So the receptivity of the radicle to phylloxera was irrelevant to attempts to answer the question concerning the resistance of the plant to an insect whose complex behavior was far from known. The ingenious experiments of Millardet at Villat-de-Vic (Montagnac), whatever their results, seem to have been vitiated by his choice of the riparia vine as the control plant.

Some observers thought that the property used for experiments in Montpellier was highly unsatisfactory for growing vines. Even before phylloxera, French vines generally did poorly there because of the very chalky soil, which was also excessively humid as a result of poor drainage. But the Cornucopia vine, suited to the soil there, did well, even though its resistance to phylloxera was low. The problem was the poor adaptation of Millardet's vine to that soil. Some observers found it difficult to understand why the school carried out its experiments in such abnormal conditions.

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