Blight in BC (December 21, 2006)
It looks like the phylloxera story in reverse. A nursery in France has supplied grape vines to British Columbia that were infected with the European disease bois noir. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has confirmed that the pestilence currently affecting European vineyards has been detected in vineyards in Osoyoos at the extreme south of British Columbia's wine growing region.
"This is a very, very, very serious thing," says David Bond, executive director of the Association of BC Winegrowers. "My members are scared silly about it."
Chuck Lemmon, a spokesman for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, has said that the entire shipment of 2,000 vines from the French nursery will be destroyed and new rules governing the importation of vines from France and Germany will come into effect in 2007. In order to ensure there are no more insects that carry the bois noir infection will enter Canada, all imported plants from France will have to be hot-water treated.