Above: “Attention: You are entering an area infected by Xyella fastidiosa. Do not remove plants or parts of plants.” A sign in Puglia where the Pierce’s Disease crisis affecting olive growers remains unchecked (photo by Davide de Lentinis).
Sorry to be a bummer the week before Christmas.
But I wanted to share a couple of Pierce’s Disease resources here.
In just a few weeks, I will be traveling with a group of wine writers to Salento to visit the Cantele winery, where we will taste the wines with winemaker Gianni and eat at the estate’s cooking school iSensi, etc.
Pierce’s Disease first appeared in Puglia in 2013 and has decimated the region’s olive tree population. Once a tree has been infected, the only solution is to cut it down so as to stop the spread of the illness.
So far, the only course of action taken by the European Union has been to quarantine affected areas. The fear is that it might spread to other parts of Italy and ultimately to continental Europe.
Here are a couple of online English-language resources worth looking at for their background info on the history and current situation.
It hasn’t been updated in a while but the most recent entries are on the situation in Puglia today.
It also gives an excellent overview of what’s happened in Puglia until now.
The second is the European Food Safety Authority’s Xylella fastidiosa page.
It reports updates on what is currently being done in Europe to protect olive trees and grapevines from this growing threat. It also links to recent research on the disease and how to combat it.
It’s my hope that our upcoming trip (the first week of January, 2016) will help to raise awareness of this tragedy and what it’s doing to the millennial tradition of olive growing and olive oil production in Puglia.
Again, sorry to be a bummer the week before Christmas but please stay tuned.