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Magazine Archives: May 31, 2019

Copper Crackdown Vexes Vintners

Suzanne Mustacich, Mitch Frank
Issue: May 31, 2019

Since the 1880s, copper compounds, typically copper sulfate mixed with lime, have been used by grapegrowers to fight fungal and bacterial threats to vines. For organic growers, copper sulfate remains the most effective weapon against downy mildew. But copper is a heavy metal that lingers in soil for years and can pose risks for farm workers, wildlife and groundwater. Now the E.U. is creating new limits on the use of copper compounds, with the long-term goal of banning it entirely. Some vintners, however, say that without effective alternatives organic vineyards economically will be unsustainable.

For the full article, check out the new issue of Wine Spectator, on newsstands April 16, 2019.

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