The power of the purse recounts the rise of Bordeaux as the prime wine producing area of France in the eighteenth century. Massive investment by the nouveaux riches led to the rise of Chateaux Latour, Lafite and Margaux and others who based their success on well-drained soil and insistence on the latest and best cellar techniques. “The devastator” describes the catastrophic effect on the French wine industry of phylloxera which wiped out almost all of the vineyards. Scientific investigations by Pasteur and Planchon solved the problem and introduced new techniques to viticulture.
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