Powdery Mildew

Appears in
Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

powdery mildew, also called oidium, oïdium in French, the first of the vine fungal diseases to be scientifically described, in 1834 in the United States. It is native to North America, where it causes minor damage on native grapes. The fungus was given the name Oidium tuckerii after the gardener, a Mr Tucker, who first noted it in Europe, in Margate, England, in 1845 (Barron says 1831 or 1832). Today the fungus is more widely known as Uncinula necator. The disease was first noted in France in 1847, where it soon spread and caused widespread havoc to vineyards and wine quality. Today the disease is spread worldwide. There is a difference in susceptibility between different vine species, with many native american vines being very resistant.