Entering the dormant winter period, you would be forgiven for thinking that the hard work is over and the focus is solely on winemaking. However, this time requires proactive interventions to ensure the longevity of the vineyard, specifically disease and pest management as well as farm maintenance.
Vineyards are constantly under a watchful eye checking for any diseases that may make their way in. The most common threat is powdery and downy mildew which are forms of fungus that affect the vine’s ability to photosynthesis and threatens the growing season’s fruit and energy storage for winter. Unseasonal weather can increase the chance of a fungus finding its way onto the vines and as with most issues, prevention is better than cure. Prevention is supported by ensuring the cleanliness of equipment and removing infected matter from the vineyard to reduce the risk of spores settling into the soils. Often certain registered chemical sprays are used to combat the threat of these fungi.
The range of pests is vast, and the vines are at risk throughout the year of the natural biome becoming unbalanced and becoming a problem. Often the balance is naturally maintained by encouraging the natural pest predators that are not a risk to the vines. Unfortunately, at times further intervention is needed by using a range of registered pesticides to reduce the impact of pests.
To keep a farm running, there is a complex network of labour, viticulture and infrastructure. This infrastructure requires maintenance, and two key components are the trellis and irrigation systems.
The trellis systems create the framework that supports the seasonal growth which will grow to significant weight. This weight can cause the wires to lose their tension and the posts to become unstable or even break. During the dormant time, once pruning is complete the trellises are less pressured and clear of vines, offering an ideal time to perform repairs.
The irrigation systems range from farm to farm and can be very complex with reservoirs, pipes, pumps, filters, and sprayers. Each component must be looked after to ensure it is a fine running system during the growing season. The dormant period offers a low-risk time for interruptions to the system for repairs.
When you see a dormant vineyard with bare vines, keep in mind that there is a team of dedicated people maintaining the complex system that enables the quality fruit that goes into Paserene’s luxury handcrafted wines.