Question: The 2023 Bordeaux harvest seems to have had some issues with mildew, especially on some Merlot grapes. Would you please simply explain what causes mildew?
Answer: Mildew, sometimes called powdery mildew, is a microbial disease caused by a fungus on the grapes. Early canopy management can be an important tool in preventing the moist environment that allows mildew to thrive. Wine made with grapes affected by mildew can show less quality aromatics with sometimes earthy botrytis notes. A couple of interesting articles for more details are “Grape Powdery Mildew” December 2015 by the British Columbia MInistry of Agriculture here and Jamie Goode dated March 27, 2020 “Wine science: powdery mildew, the wine world’s biggest problem” here.
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