University of California, Davis, released five new grape varieties that are resistant to Pierce’s disease. Pierce's is a vine-killing bacterial infection spread by bugs that is prevalent in warmer areas like Southern California, where the disease costs the wine industry more than $100 million a year. The disease makes growing wine grapes in the warmest regions of states such as Georgia, Alabama, Texas and Florida next to impossible. These new varieties that taste and vint like traditional wine grapes include camminare noir, which has characteristics of cabernet sauvignon and petite sirah; paseante noir, which is similar to zinfandel; errante noir, which is similar to cabernet sauvignon; ambulo blanc, which is similar to sauvignon blanc; and caminante blanc, which has characteristics of sauvignon blanc and chardonnay. This is the first time since the 1980s that UC Davis has released new grapes.
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