An illness is infecting Syrah vines through California, causing concern amongst many winemakers. Although no one knows for sure what is causing the ailment, many experts believe it may be what is known as “Syrah Decline” in France. Syrah Decline has been affecting France since the early 1990s, but seems to be even more potent in California.

This development is particularly worrisome given the rising popularity of Syrah amongst California wine producers and consumers. Plantings of the grape have increased by over 2000% over the past decade bringing total acreage to about 19,000.