Synopses & Reviews
In the mid-1860s, grapevines in southeastern France inexplicably began to wither and die. Jules-Émile Planchon, a botanist from Montpellier, was sent out to investigate. He discovered that the vine roots were covered in microscopic yellow insects. What they were—and where they had come from—was a mystery. The infestation advanced with the relentlessness of an invading army. Within a few years the plague had spread across Europe; even California's old-world vines succumbed to the aphid's assault. The wine industry was on the brink of disaster. Planchon believed he had the answer and set out to convince the skeptical wine-making and scientific establishments. It was a mission that would take decades.
Gripping and intoxicating, The Botanist and the Vintner brings to life one of the most significant, though little-known, events in the history of wine.
“A taut, suspense-filled account.” The New York Times
“A true-life detective story ripe for the writing.” Los Angeles Times
“An engrossing read. And certainly it is information every wine lover should know, making it perhaps the wine book of the year to absorb and consider.” San Antonio Express-News
“Ecology, politics, and free-market economics collide in this brisk and surprisingly modern tale of scientific sleuthing.”
“A must-read.” Wine Spectator
About the Author
CHRISTY CAMPBELL is a British writer and journalist. He has written for the Telegraph since 1990. The Botanist and the Vintner won the 2005 Glenfiddich Food and Drink Award.