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George Gale
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'All hybrid wine is inferior'--what ideological nonesense! Unless you mean it tautologically: as with Regent, a hybrid from Geisenheim, which was so good that the Germans declared it vinifera by act of law. It is now one of the most growning new plantations in Baden. There's lots of Chambourcin snuck in among the cab and merlot in Bordeaux, or so I've been told by one of the leading negotiants in Bordeaux city. Chambourcin is now being planted in Oz. Novy Family winery in Sonoma—justly famed for their pinots—now puts out a lovely Oregon Leon Millot. And then there's norton.... The story of the hybrids in Europe is strange and wonderful, not to mention extremely complex. Most of the 'history' above is simple-minded, and simply incorrect. Next Spring you can read all about it in my "Dying on the vine: how the phylloxera changed the world of wine", coming from the Univ. of California Press to a bookstore near you (or your computer). BTW, thousands and thousands of acres of hybrids remain planted all over Europe. The EU is not going to get rid of them; in fact they're coming back, and officially approved. If you read French, take a look at If you read Deutsch, go to In addition to the ideology, I can't believe the factual sloppiness of many of the comments above. Just to take one example, many American species, for example rupestris and riparia-the basis of Millot and Foch--have absolutely no foxiness, either genetically or phenotypically. In sum, be careful what you say!
I knew Derrida, Derrida was a beer-drinking-friend of mine; and, Mark Taylor, you're no Derrida.
George Gale is now following The Typepad Team
Aug 17, 2010