Why are there rose bushes in vineyards?

If you've tried crossword puzzles and Sudoku and are still looking for ways to keep your mind active, try blogging! You'll discover that the world is a treasure trove of unanswered questions. Admittedly, some of these riddles don't need to be solved, but it's a good excuse to go wandering off of the beaten path.

Fortunately, Stephane is proving to be an amiable companion in my quest for meaningless knowledge and only somewhat grudgingly wonders why I can't go to the grocery store without stopping for photos, like of a rose bush in a vineyard. When questioned about my motives, I explained that there's a reason, which I unfortunately forgot, why rose bushes are planted at the end of the rows of grapes. Snap a photo, do a bit of research and "Voilà", I've got a blog post.

So, why are there rose bushes in a vineyard? Finding the answer to this question involved a chat with one of the local winemakers.  He explained that rose bushes are a good indicator of the health of the grape vines because they're susceptible to the same diseases, such as powdery mildew and downy mildew. Rose bushes alert the winemaker to the presence of a fungus disease while it's still in its early stage so that they can apply the proper treatment of sulphur for powdery mildew and a copper sulphate and lime solution for downy mildew.

You may want to propose a toast to rose bushes the next time that you're sipping a glass of wine in Paris and thank them for a job well done!

Aren't these grapes the picture of good health?


  1. that is so good to know. And inspiration for blog topics come fast and furious for me, and then dry to a drought--you've got to do them while you have them.

    I hope all continues/is going well in CH.

  2. Very cool - had no idea! I wonder what it is about the rose bushes that is similar to grape vines...ie. could one use plants other than a rose bush? or is it because the rose bushes also serve the dual purpose of being pretty? :)

  3. oui always a lovely surprize to see those roses in the vineyards in Bordeaux...

  4. Joseph, It must be one of the periods when blog topics are coming fast and furious because you've had lots of interesting posts this week, including the one with the menu for dinner at the American Embassy in Paris!

    Sara, I have absolutely no idea if they could use other plants than rose bushes. You're right that the red of the roses looks pretty against the green grape leaves. Unfortunately, many vineyards don't use rose bushes as an early indicator anymore because they spray the grapes on a regular basis.

    Parisbreakfasts, Yet another reason why I should return to Bordeaux!


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