Appears in
Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

esca, fungal disease believed to be as old as vine cultivation. Although it occurs in most of the world’s wine regions, it is most severe in vineyards located in warmer and drier mediterranean climates, for example, in France, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and California. A disease affecting older vines (more than ten years old), it is characterized by white rot and apoplexy (sudden death) and is considered to be a complex of diseases that start with cuttings used in propagation (see trunk diseases). The Greek word yska signified both rotten grape wood and the spongy Basidiomycete fungal bodies.