It was 1863 when all around France suddenly grape vines started dying at astonishing rates. The winemakers pulled up the dead vines and planted new ones. But within a few weeks the new plants had succumbed to the mysterious grape-plague. Entire vineyards withered and turned to vine-grave-yards.
As the phylloxera is a gynandromorph, it can reproduce itself. It is able to produce a staggering amount of fertilized eggs in one go. The slightest breath of the wind will carry the eggs along and spread them around the vineyards.
During the infamous plague the French tried everything they could to curb it; they pulled up all the dead vines, sprayed with insecticides; vineyards were cloaked in a yellow haze of toxins, funeral pyres for the dead roots send up inky black clouds of smoke that obscure the horizon. But the torrent was unstoppable; the wine plague was immune to every effort.