Monday, February 13, 2012

Sometimes Decisions Come Back to Bite You

Some time ago due to my and the surrounding vineyards' experience, I decided not to spray for powdery mildew.
We had never had an outbreak in the 10 years prior and climatic conditions (mild cloudy weather) for its development were virtually never experienced in our area.
Not that spraying sulphur is any difficulty as it can simply be added in with the copper for normal downy mildew protection.
The disadvantage is that it's smelly, can cause some breathing allergies and its application can lead to leaf burn on hot (+30C) days.
And not using sulphur saves a bit of money.
Anyway, this summer was virtually not a summer at all.
We had lots of rain (wettest summer in 51 years) and also very cool temperatures and lots of overcast days which is not normal.
You are already getting my drift here.

Sad to say powdery mildew 'hit' the Tempranillo and Semillon pretty hard.
Curative sprays unfortunately did not do their job.
Powdery mildew delays the maturity and retards the growth of the berries and causes them to split.
In addition it causes off flavours in wine.
So this will mean we won't be picking those two varieties this year.
Thankfully the Pinot Noir and the Cabernet Sauvignon have not succumbed and are both looking good so far.
Back to the sulphur next vintage!

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