Thursday, August 18, 2011
Definitely late harvest and low yields!
This is past mid-August, and véraison is still at less than 50% — can you believe it? The Doña Margarita Vineyard has no more than 5-10% color, and the Don Miguel is not much ahead of it. It’s a very difficult (and costly) year because of the high pressure of powdery mildew (oidium), especially with the puny organic materials that are not nearly as effective as the conventional ones — and much more expensive!
Other than the organic sprays, aggressive leafing has been necessary as well as immediate removal of each berry that shows the first sign of mildew, even cluster thinning of any bunches that are lumped together, despite the low yields, to ensure the aeration of the canopy.
The good news is that, although small and sparse, the bunches look really good. They are healthy and well balanced, while the vine rows are nicely trimmed and tidy. Our vineyard team is doing an excellent job!