Heckers Vermächtnis: Arche Noah für Wildreben

Politics and Science

Friedrich Hecker, failed in 1848 as political revolutionary, but as viticulture revolutionary he was successful. During his exile in the US, he observed, how Phylloxera devastated his imported grapevines, but left the "bastards" with American wild grapevines.

He was able to convince Adolph Blankenhorn, founder of the „Enological Institute“ in Karlsruhe, to graft the native grapevines on American rootstocks and delivered the seeds of the Taylor Grape, a natural hybrid, which was resistant. On these so called „American Grapes“, the root genertation of the insect cannot propagate well, such that the sexual leaf generation is disrupted.

Some years ago, the original „Hecker's Grape“ was re-discovered during renovation work in Blankenhorn's Winery in the Kaiserstuhl. The cradle for this worldwide most successful example of biological pest control stands here in Karlsruhe, to where we have re-patriated the „Hecker's Grape“.