July vineyard update: It’s all about leaves

July is the last heavy-work month before harvest with a major focus on leaf management. Although it could have been worse the weather was not ideal the last weeks. This year we’re getting all the rain we missed last season. Key problem still: Peronospora. Specifically the Müller-Thurgau has been hit hard. The early infections will reduce the yield quite a bit.

Grape Peronospora

The berries and the old leaves are strong enough now to not let new spores crawl in but the stems. But the spores are still there and finding new targets: stems and young leaves. As the last copper treatment of the season is close there is nothing left to do but watch the fungus …

Pero spores

… as it destroy the leaves.

Peronospora in the leaves

Then there was hail. Not disastrous but another unpleasant addition of this year’s weather cocktail.

Hail damage in the Silvaner

If you look closely you can spot the first botrytis infections too. I very much do hope for a hot & dry August/September stopping the madness. Because the other side of the vine above looks a lot nicer.

Silvaner grapes early August 2016

The Schwarzriesling / Pinot Meunier could carry more grapes but it’s not looking too bad either.

Pinot Meunier in early August 2016

For the reds we’ve removed most of the leaves int he grape zone as we await our next threat: drophosilia suzukii 

Melanie and I spent the whole morning discussing our harvest plan. We’ll have about 50% more than we had last year and there will be quite a few new wines in the portfolio next year (fingers crossed). Look forward to a LOT more skin fermented Silvaner, skin fermented Bacchus, another Pet-Nat and something rosé-ish. Like every year it’s a mix of fear and excitement carrying us through the last weeks before harvest. Have a great summer!


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