27 August 2019

Est-ce que c'est l'esca ?

It's not supposed to be as hot today as it was yesterday and over the weekend. Today's predicted high is 33ºC, according to Accuweather, and on Sunday and Monday it was 36ºC. See the chart on the right for Fahrenheit equivalents.

Walt posted a photo of this dying (or dead) grapevine on his blog a couple of days ago. He was standing farther from the little building that it grew on than I was when I took these photos. I don't think this summer's heat is what killed the vine, but it could have been a contributing factor. There's a fungal disease called esca, which has been known since Roman times, that might well be the reason for the plant's demise.

Esca is believed to be caused by several different fungal parasites that attack the vines. The fungi spores are airborne.Esca is not well understood and is very hard to prevent. The French Wikipédia article says temperature is a factor in its spread. The parasites enter the grapevine trunk over winter, through "wounds" left by pruning in autumn, especially when winters are damp and mild. That describes the weather we've been having in recent years.


  1. Or it could be just plain old age?
    L'esca n'est pas exquis!

    1. I of course have no idea how old that plant might be. Some of the vines out behind our back gate might be a century old, I've been told.

  2. Bonjour Ken , c'est sur la loge de vignes de Bruno Denis ?


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