French wine scientists have developed four ‘supergrape’ varieties, which they claim are unaffected by rot and therefore require almost no pesticides. However, wine purists have slammed the move, saying that the grapes will lead to low-grade wine.
The new grapes, developed in Colmar, Eastern France, are said to be “durably resistant” to fungus such as downy mildew and powdery mildew. Didier Merdinoglu, the lead scientist on the project, said that the grapes will allow winemakers to cut the use of pesticides by up to 90 percent. Pesticide use has been a contentious topic in France recently, with several pupils at a school near a vineyard falling ill after being sprayed with chemicals.