Definition - What does Anthracnose mean?
In the context of viticulture, Anthracnose is defined as a group of water-borne diseases. Anthracnose can attack the stems, flowers, leaves and fruits of grape vines leaving sunken, dark lesions. Anthracnose is often called blight but is actually a fungal infection that can be caused by different fungi. Wine vines are at the highest risk for Anthracnose in the spring when vines are experiencing new growth and there is consistent moisture from spring rains.
WineFrog explains Anthracnose
The symptoms of Anthracnose vary with the type of fungal infection, the plant host, weather, and the time of year the infection occurs. New growth is at the highest risk for infection and can be identified by the spread of small dark spots on the leaves or the leaves can curl and die. Typically mature healthy leaves are resistant to infection, but can occur if the conditions are optimal for the fungi.
Anthracnose affects the leaves and can damage the vines if the infection is not treated. While there are some pesticides used to treat Anthracnose, they are not entirely effective. Anthracnose diseases are avoidable through the proper vineyard and vine care and management, although, if environmental conditions are overwhelming with rain and warmth, fungi can infect properly managed vines and vineyards. Proper vineyard care and vine management including trimming infected vines, planting vines far enough apart to have proper air circulation so leaves and vines can dry properly, and not create a habitable environment for fungi.