The rose and the vineyard, a lasting friendship



The month of April is when spring really settles in. After a bit of a struggle, the good weather finally seems here to stay. It is the month of long days, outdoor lunches and the season's first ice coffees. April boasts a stellar cast, but its main star is undoubtedly the rose. Yes, that lovely floral symbol that serves to say so much, usually related to love.

At Jean Leon, the rose brings to mind one of our wines: Jean Leon 3055 Rosé. A sensual, very feminine rosé with a distinctive pale pink color made from Pinot Noir, one of the most elegant and international French red varieties. Although the wine can be enjoyed year round, the arrival of spring catapults it to the top tier when it comes to picking a wine for lunch or dinner.

Besides evoking one of the wines in our 3055 range, the rose has always been closely linked to winemaking. Given its popularity as a topic of conversation this time of year, we thought it would be interesting to mention the rose’s crucial role in preventing diseases and pests in the vineyard. Some of you might be wondering why... Roses are susceptible to the same diseases as grapevines, particularly those caused by powdery mildew. The rose, however, displays symptoms much earlier, because it is a very sensitive plant.  So if a vineyard is affected by fungal diseases, these will appear earlier and faster on the roses, strategically planted at the end of vineyard rows. They act as an early warning to winegrowers who can then take action and apply treatments to prevent the disease from spreading to the grapes. 

This disease-detection system dates back to about 1851. Powdery mildew came to Europe and infected the vast majority of vineyards. The spores spread from plant to plant at such speed that the fungus destroyed most of the wine regions' grapevines within less than two years. A group of winegrowing monks in Burgundy had planted rose bushes around the vineyards and when the disease struck, they were its first victims. The warning gave the monks enough time to fend off the disease and save their vineyards from infection. From then on, planting rose bushes in vineyards became a common practice. So now you know—the roses in vineyards are not mere ornamentation, although they do give the landscape a romantic Provençal touch, but serve an important function as a natural and effective warning that alerts winegrowers to potential diseases in the vineyard.

Categorías: Wine