Red blotch virus is also impacting wine grape plantings in California. California is in a “mini-planting boom,” Smith says.

Last winter, some growers visited nurseries which were processing their vine orders and sampled vines for testing. Growers cancelled contracts on infected vines.

Nurseries are sampling scion and rootstock increase blocks and having commercial laboratories test for red blotch virus.

“This virus took nurseries by surprise, just as it did growers,” Smith said.

Infected vines have been rogued. The process is ongoing.

“Some growers have postponed replanting blocks and planting new blocks until more is understood about how the virus is spread and how the effects of the disease can be better managed,” Smith concluded.

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