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Baco François

The French teacher and vine grower François Baco (1865-1947) was active in the fight against the phylloxera plague, which had been rampant in France and many other European countries since 1880. He learned professional grafting, i.e. the grafting of European scions onto American rootstocks, from the well-known botanist Lucien Louis Daniel (1865-1940). From the onset of black rot in 1896, he began to breed fungus-resistant hybrids. Baco artificially fertilised 1,200 inflorescences and as a result planted around 50,000 grape seeds on the estate of his friend Jules Darrignan in the municipality of Labatut near Bélus in the south-west of France. After several years of work, he selected around 7,000 from over 50,000 cuttings, of which no more than ten were finally marketed by 1912. He was also supported by his son Maurice.

Baco François - Baco Blanc, Porträt, Baco Noir

The plants are named after him (plus consecutive number), some of them got later sounding names. They were so-called French hybrids of the first generation between mostly fungus-resistant American vines (for example Noah) and European vines (for example Folle Blanche). The best known new varieties of wine grapes for wine production are Baco Blanc (Baco 22A), Baco Chasselas (Baco 7A), Baco Noir (Baco 1), Olivar (Baco 30-15), Rescape (Baco 9-11) and Totmur (Baco 2-16). But he also created documents such as Caperan (Baco 43-23). From the 1940s onwards, the American viticulture pioneer Philip Wagner (1904-1996) from Maryland was largely responsible for the spread of Baco varieties (and also of other breeders such as Albert Seibel and Joannes Seyve) along the entire East Coast of America.

François Baco: FromCentre culturel du Pays d'Orthe, Public domain, Link
Grape varieties: Ursula Brühl, Doris Schneider, Julius Kühn Institute (JKI)

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