Missouri Wine: The Basics

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Source: Missouri Wine and Grape Board

In the 1870s, 6 million acres of French vineyards were destroyed by a mysterious plague. Desperate, the French government invited Missouri’s first entomologist Charles V. Riley to diagnose the situation. He determined that the vines were suffering by an infestation of phylloxera, most likely introduced by imported American vines. Riley also suggested the idea of grafting vinifera vines to native American rootskocks were immune to the louse and introduced French authorities to growes such as George Husmann, Hermann Jaeger, and Isador Bush. Subsequently, millions of cuttings of Missouri rootstock saved the French wine industry from disaster. (1)

Source: Missouri Wine and Grape Board

At the time seeking out a Missouri specialist was a logical choice as the state was one of the largest producers in the country.  Early in American history, European immigrants brought their wine-making skills with them as they settled west of …

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