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10 Little-known Wine Facts

Most modern European wines are derived from American vines.

The English passion for botany in Victorian times led to the importation of American grapes to botanical gardens. Those cuttings contained an insect that attacks the roots of grape vines. The bug spread throughout Europe and destroyed nearly all native vineyards.

Soon after the blight started, a botanist from Texas suggested grafting roots of American vines that are resistant to the pests onto the European vines. By some accounts, every plant in Europe was grafted. Of course, those vines also imported non-native mold and fungus to the European plants, and some native species went extinct.

Many wine experts continue to mourn the loss of the fully native European grapes.