Charity auction Wednesday 8 April 2015

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The Académie des Sciences, in partnership with Henri Maire, working against vine wood diseases

The Académie des Sciences, owner of the Clos de Rosières vineyard near Arbois in the Jura;and Henri Maire, which has made wine from the plot for more than 70 years, have decided to launch an ambitious research program into vine wood diseases which, over the past two decades, have become the object of growing concern for the vinegrowing and winemaking industry in France and around the world. 

With this in mind, the Académie des Sciences and Henri Maire are organizing a charity auction of wine from the historic vines of French chemist Louis Pasteur on 8 April. The monies raised will go directly into the research program into vine diseases that affect almost 13% of French vines. 

Prestigious personalities

The auction is supported by actress Mélanie Doutey, Académie des Sciences member Michel Caboche, and Jean-Robert Pitte, member of the Académie des Sciences Morales et Politiques. It will be held on Wednesday 8 April 2015 at 6pm at the Fondation Simone et Cino del Duca, 10 rue Alfred de Vigny, 75008 Paris. The auction will also be hosted on the www.drouotlive.com site on 8 April.

More information can be found here: http://catalogue.drouot.com/html/d/infos.jsp?id=22919

As part of the event, a conference will be hosted by Jean-Robert Pitte on the theme of Franc-Comtoise bottles, before auctioneer Emmanuel Prunier will auction around 500 numbered bottles, signed by some famous names including Bernard Pivot, Mélanie Doutey, Virginie Efira, Apollonia Poilâne, Béatrice Cointreau, Louis-Albert De Broglie, Alexandra Lamy, Jean-Robert Pitte, and Catherine Bréchignac.

An historic commitment 

The Clos de Rosières, located in the village of Montigny-les-Arsures, was a crucial place for Louis Pasteur’s research into fermentation, with his famous experiment into the origins of ferments that earned him the title of the father of modern enology. Indeed, the very first pasteurization was carried out on wine.

Around 20 years ago, the Académie des Sciences created the Maison de Louis Pasteur foundation to continue the work and to conserve the memory of this benefactor of humanity. In September 2012, it commissioned one of its members, Michel Caboche, to set up a research program involving these historic vines.

Henri Maire, the most famous wine producer in the Jura winegrowing region, has been involved in this historic vineyard for over 70 years, vinifying around half a hectare of Clos de Rosières. It will be working closely with the Académie des Sciences on this research program, ensuring the replantation of all the vines in the plot for the purposes of the study.

The research program

An inventory of the “Pasteur vines” has been carried out to map the varietals present and to analyze the health of the plot. This was a necessary step prior to setting up the different phases of the program.

The 2,500 vines of Le Clos de Rosières are of eight different varietals, and will be pulled up and replanted in order to create the world’s first pilot site for the study of vine wood diseases. These diseases will no doubt become a major preoccupation for the industry over the coming years, probably aggravated even more by factors such as climate change.

This “open-air laboratory” will be run by a national research group coordinated by Patrice Rey (UMR, “SAVE”: Santé et Agroécologie du Vignoble, INRA/Bordeaux Sciences Agro). Their research will evaluate the factors that trigger vine wood disease and will compare the microbiota, the microflora colonizing vine wood from both healthy varietals and infected ones, in the hunt for an eventual protective effect. The study of the natural resistance of certain vines to the agents that cause diseases should, in the long term, allow for the testing of potential microbial agents to fight this pest.

See For scientific universalism at http://universalisme.fr

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