The Wairarapa region remained free of phylloxera until 2007 – it was the last wine-growing district in New Zealand to become infected with the pest insect. At that time, a quarter of the region’s vines were ungrafted susceptible varieties. To delay the spread of phylloxera to uninfected vineyards, new grape material brought into the district was dipped in insecticide. Phylloxera is easily spread by soil on shoes and vehicles – it is inevitable that it will infect all the vineyards.
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Photograph by Ross Somerville
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