The majority of vine diseases were involuntarily introduced to Europe as a result of the maritime trade during the second part of the 19th Century. Very quickly, in order to combat against these diseases, evidence was gathered regarding the efficacy of certain classic molecules such as copper sulfate (in the form of Bordeaux mixture) to fight against mildew or sulphur against oïdium.
In the 20th Century, in every realm of human activity, all forms of technical or technological evolution tended to be considered progress. In viticulture, each advancement within the domain of vegetation, or of struggle against disease, was inevitably viewed as favourable. But at the turn of the new century, doubt set in, and each innovation was not necessarily viewed as progress. This was true of viticulture in particular, as with agriculture in general. Land was no longer inherited from one’s parents, but rather borrowed from one’s children. And with this new philosophy appeared the concept of sustainable agriculture. Consumers’ preoccupations with health and the preservation of the environment for future generations became priorities for our society.
According to his sensibility or his degree of expertise, the winegrower can employ several possible strategies: “reasoned viticulture” or its variation “integrated viticulture”, “organic viticulture” or its variation “biodynamic”.