Lucie Morton, a vineyard expert worth her salt – The Washington Post – 10/13/2010

Lucie Morton is one more reason why Maryland wines just keep getting better year after year. Here’s a quick bio and a little info on what she’s been up to lately in neighborhood.  Cool lady! 🙂


Lots of people would be dismayed to find a fungus growing in their refrigerator. Lucie Morton actually likes having them in hers.

“These are my experiments,” she said recently, grabbing three plastic bags filled with grapevine cuttings from the crisper drawer of the fridge in her Charlottesville home. “I like to practice my fungal identification skills.”

And there’s always a chance she will discover something new: “I’m quite sure some of these little dudes are causing problems,” she said, scrutinizing a sample inside a bag.

Talk with Morton, 59, about her work as an ampelographer, and you will quickly learn that not only does she call fungi “dudes” but she has a fungus named for her.

Phaeoacremonium Mortoniae was christened in 2001 after she helped identify another fungus responsible for “black goo,” her name for a disease that afflicts American grapevine rootstocks and causes young vines to wither and die. Morton was instrumental in establishing that nurseries were selling vines infected with the fungus.

While that established her fame among fungus enthusiasts, Morton’s influence skyrocketed in recent years with the initial success of three high-profile Washington area clients: Black Ankle Vineyards and Sugarloaf Mountain Vineyard in Maryland, and Boxwood Winery in Northern Virginia. She also consults for…

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