Phytosanitary protection aims to maximize crop production by fighting diseases and parasites.
The most frequently encountered diseases are:
Oïdium: canes and grapes turn white, and as soon as the grapes swell they split open.
Mildew: this severely damages the bunches by drying them out completely, while attacking the leaves and reducing their photosynthesis.
Grey rot: this parasite ruins the bunches by covering the grapes with a grey powder; worms (butterfly larvae) make holes in the grape skins, which further encourages the spread of grey rot.
Numerous ecological methods have been developed to protect the vines from such diseases and parasites. For example, sexual confusion has limited the need for insecticides. Capsules placed among the vines diffuse pheromones that are usually given off by female butterflies, in order to confuse males. By limiting natural reproduction, the risk of butterfly-induced grey rot has been reduced by half.