June vineyard update: Peronospora is a bitch

In June time flies by. This year in particular. Due to the massive amounts of rain we had the vines grew extraordinarily fast and strong. Pretty much exactly the opposite of what we saw last year. We struggled to keep up with all the work sometimes but in the end we’ve managed it very well I think. All the shoots have surpassed the top wire by far, the berries have reached pea-size.

Bacchus in June

In some vineyards like the Bacchus shown above I’ve removed a good part of the leaves already. This way I’ll hopefully avoid sunburn while having a nicely airy grape zone to avoid early rot.

On the bad side the yields won’t be as exciting as the growth would allow for due to two reasons. Firstly there are a lot of shoots with one or no grapes at all. The super dry 2015 simply didn’t grow very fertile buds.


Secondly: Peronospora. The permanent rain was responsible for permanent infections (splashing rain drops make the spores jump up to the leaves from the soil). In the picture above you see the typical spots (the white splashes are sulphur which is used to fight Oidium). On the bottom of the leaf a mycelium starts growing when it remains wet with a medium temperature. Which starts shooting out spores again and so on. It’s been a huge problem specifically (but not only) for organic growers in many regions of Germany this year. The only thing we can do is spray copper but then the tractor is struggling to get in the steep sites when it’s raining all the time. Here is an infected grape:


But in the end we’ve been lucky (so far). The two Müller-Thurgau vineyards might have a 20% lower yield, Bacchus 10%, but the rest is only cosmetically damaged. The last days have been warm and dry – Peronospora doesn’t like that.

The remaining weeks will be about removing suckers and leaves in the vineyard. Next week we’ll also bottle everything we’ve left in the cellar, the premium stuff. Heimat Silvaner, a new cuvée called “Drei Freunde” and Spätburgunder.


The evenings are filled with a little gardening these days, cherries are doing really well this year and raspberries have been very popular the last days.

Raspberry time

Next time I’ll find time to write a blog post all the work will be done. Enjoy July!

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