cloth, 223 pp., $39.95
This is a scholarly book for readers with dual interests: wine lovers with scientific curiosity. It is a tale of a little yellow bug that decimated the European and California vineyards, and how American grafted rootstocks came to underlie French vines.
Phylloxera began yellowing French vineyards in the mid-1860s, then invaded European countries, crossed over to South America, Australia, and California. It took the combined forces of researchers, scientists, and viticulturists for research and development, which the author calls Big Science, to understand microscopic Phylloxera and overcome its global disastrous habits. Phylloxera, an example of a dangerous, invasive species in a monoculture that lives in the soil. The book provides an interesting modern perspective on the risks of current agricultural practices.
— Adele Kleine, Library volunteer and garden writer, Chicago Botanic Garden