Martin Field 2009-06-17T03:05:54+00:000000005430200906 Wine

History of Phylloxera in the Yarra Valley
As new outbreaks of the grape scourge phylloxera continue to plague Yarra valley wine makers, long time readers may recall my research into the early presence of phylloxera in Victoria’s Yarra Valley. Now I have found a report at the National Library of Australia website, indicating that phylloxera was probably present in a vineyard at Kangaroo Ground as early as 1912. From the Melbourne Argus, February 23, 1922:
“Phylloxera at Kangaroo Ground – The Government viticulturist (Mr de Castella) has reported to the Assistant Minister for Agriculture (Sir Pennington) the discovery of phylloxera at Kangaroo Ground. Vines are dying in one orchard. The owner first noticed this about four years ago, and it is thought that the pest must have been introduced about 10 years ago. Though Kangaroo Ground is not an important vine district, this outbreak deserves special notice as it is the first time phylloxera has been found so close to Melbourne. With the exception of the Geelong outbreak phylloxera has not seriously been found south of the Dividing Range. It is officially stated that the metropolitan district cannot now be looked upon as “clean” and even if it is it will not remain so for long.”

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