Soil samples

As a rule of thumb you have to pull soil samples in the vineyards every five years to check if there is anything lacking. Our new vineyard hadn’t been examined for several years and I was quite keen on learning more about what we start with.

To examine the soil you need to get samples from 6-7 different spots per acre or 16 spots per hectare. To do so you need a special metal sporn with a groove and a massive hammer. Like this.

Tools needed to pull soil samples

The sporn is then hammered into the soil deeply. A transverse metal stick allows to turn the sporn around and pull it back out.

Sporn hammered into the soil

And what you have in the groove makes a sample. I did that 20 times (phew!) and it was pretty interesting to see the differences. Like one corner was a bit reddish, maybe iron. Half of the Schwarzriesling parcel had white bits and pieces sprinkled in, that’s lime. This is how the sample looks in the groove of the spike.

Soil sample

It’s going to be really interesting to learn how much nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium (the three major nutrients) and humus there is to work with.

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