There’s three major viruses in every vineyard of wineries in Napa CA planted now. So if you have this virus in the vineyard, it might not kill plants but lessen the quality of grapes. And instead of having nicely the right Napa Cabernet Sauvignon at 25 brix with a very dark color, your Cabernet cannot ripen past 21 brix has pale color and nobody is going to buy those grapes. So people are pulling vineyards out, not because the vineyard is dead, they’re not, it’s actually quite vigorous, but because they can’t produce quality fruit.
Do we have viruses in our vineyards? Absolutely. But not all of these though. So what happens with healthy soil, is when there is a virus you can test and see, it’s dormant. It doesn’t affect. Just like, maybe it’s a pretty crude comparison, HIV. Magic Johnson was diagnosed with HIV, the famous basketball player, and everyone thought he was going to be dead in 6 months and he’s still alive, very alive. So just because you have it, doesn’t mean it’s the death of you. Just because our plants have virus, doesn’t mean it’s their time. Through healthy farming, that virus is there, it’s dormant, because healthy plant immunity keeps it in check. Your Napa Cabernet Sauvignon plant can still thrive.
So that’s the only way out of this. Many people thought you can sterilize soil, you can have sterile plants, and that treats them. No you can’t have sterilized soil. They buy sterile plants and in three years they have diseases because they spread. You cannot stop. Unless you have a very isolated green house, or very controlled environment, you cannot stop nature from working and this goes for vineyards of wineries in Napa CA.
Just like for us, let’s say you have no immune system - only way for you to live is in clean sterile box. Sure you can create this for one person and it’s a miserable life, but that’s not a solution. The solution is to have an immune system. Then you can go anywhere, breathe germs, you might get a few sneezes here and a little cold but in two days your immune system kicks it and it’s nothing.
That’s also why we have these pathogen diseases. Nature created them. There’s a reason for them. They’re here to destroy weak. Nature wants to be strong. When you have those diseases, they’re a sign that something is sick – and what we say when there’s a problem in plant: don’t look at the plant for the problem, look for soil. Plant is not getting something that plant needs.