Growing grapes isn’t easy. Even during some great vintages, vineyards must take precaution against a host of problems that can damage their crop. Poor weather and natural disasters are usually the first to come to mind, but pests and plant diseases have always presented an issue. Pesticides are often used to combat fungi like Powdery Mildew but, as the viruses are becoming increasingly resistant to the pesticides that keep them at bay, scientists are looking for alternate solutions.
The Genetic Literacy Project reports that new breakthroughs in genetic modification could present an answer. They point specifically to the CRISPR technique which “works by precisely editing and splicing out areas where a gene may exist.” It wouldn’t be easy, but modifying the plant’s DNA could make it less prone to Powdery Mildew and even make the use of pesticides redundant. The grapes could potentially be resistant to any viruses, giving winemakers one less thing to worry about. But why stop there? Maybe we can genetically modify an entirely new grape varietal with its own unique flavors! You could craft your own ideal winemaking grapes!
However, the big question is: Would you drink it? Do you prefer organic wine? If you could make your own GMO grapes, what would you change?