French Winemaker Taking Stand Again Pesticides

One of France’s most venerated winemakers, whose vineyards supply leading restaurants, including those owned by Heston Blumenthal and Gordon Ramsay, is defying orders to spray a pesticide on his vines because of an outbreak 40km from his Burgundy and Beaujolais vineyards of flavescence dorée. The disease, which kills young vines and damages the productivity of older ones, is spread by an insect called the leafhopper.
Liger-Belair said that just one example – the plight of a “small bee” that has been present on his vineyards for years – should alone cause officialdom to doubt its policy. “When we use so much insecticide, what problems will there be in the future? We have to conserve these places for the future and think of the problems we are creating."
Flavescence dorée emerged in 1949 in the Armagnac region of south-west France. It then spread steadily to areas including Cognac, Languedoc, northern and southern Rhône, the Loire valley and Bordeaux. There is no cure for the bacterial infection.