Archive: Vineyard Info

Tips & Best Practices for Wildlife Control in the Vineyard

Few things frustrate vineyard operators more than producing healthy grapes only to have them eaten by pests. Small insects are a significant cause for concern, but larger animals often put delicate grapes at risk as well. This article will discuss the topic of wildlife control in the vineyard and the various ways that vineyards can effectively and humanely deter wildlife to protect their valuable grapes. Wildlife That Impact Vineyards Matt Doyle of Doyle Vineyard Management in Hammondsport, New York told The Grapevine Magazine that the most common pest problems that occur in the Finger Lakes region are deer, birds, and turkey. A premier Finger Lakes region grape grower, Doyle Vineyard Management also offers full-service vineyard management services and sustainable vineyard […]

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Pruning Techniques and Tools

Between last year’s harvest and the new growing season lies a gnarled mess of grape vines. The plants rested during the winter and are ready to begin their new growth cycle. First, however, the dormant plants will need pruning. For vines young and old, pruning is the key to managing canopy, fruit quality and growth. “One of the most important vineyard practices a vineyard owner must accomplish every single year is dormant pruning. Pruning grapes aids in keeping the shape and architecture of the vine, sets the ultimate crop load for the season and encourages fruit formation for the following season,” said Michael Cook, Viticulture Program Specialist at North Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Cook provides research-based knowledge to members […]

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“Wine is Sunlight, Held Together By Water”

Galileo said, “Wine is sunlight, held together by water.” A wine enthusiast may have this quote in calligraphy on a decorative wall hanging, but winemakers and vineyard managers know the truth behind it. Vineyard irrigation isn’t often a romantic craft topic, but its constant evolution requires frequent examination and an exchange of knowledge so each droplet replenishes the vine in just the right way. And while American Viticultural Areas (AVA) delineate regions with similar characteristics, individual landscapes still present unique challenges in water management that encourage or prohibit the best yield. This is when the application of science influences art. Fine-Tuning Your Approach Maybe after last year’s harvest, you discovered some inconsistencies. Perhaps your current system isn’t as effective, or […]

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Coexisting With Wildlife in the Canadian Vineyard

British Columbia touts the tag-line ‘Super, Natural British Columbia’ in their tourism branding and advertising, drawing visitors from all over the world to come and see Canadian wildlife in all its natural glory.  Wilderness tourism is a primary driver of all tourism in BC, which in total represents $13.8 billion in revenue and 132,000 direct jobs. The region is blessed with a rich variety of habitats and wildlife and distinct wine growing regions surrounded by stunning natural scenery. Some of the same factors of climate, soil, and geography that contribute to growing the wine industry also support a diversity of unique ecosystems and plant and animal populations. As the human population and development expand, many wildlife species increasingly depend on […]

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MANAGING HIGH WIRE TRELLIS FOR IMPROVED YIELD & QUALITY

The high wire trellis has recently become popular in several U.S. wine regions. In California, this trellis is seen as being easy to mechanize, and so can help save labor problems. In other regions where native and hybrid varieties are grown, the system is being promoted as offering many advantages over other systems involving vertical shoot positioning. History of the High Wire Trellis The high wire trellis is not new despite its recent promotion. Professor Nelson Shaulis of Cornell University began the “canopy management revolution” in the 1960s when he introduced the Geneva Double Curtain. The GDC was the first of the new divided canopy systems, consisting of two vertical foliage walls per row of vines, about three feet apart, […]

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From the Soil to the Sky: Ensure a Healthy Vineyard Post-Harvest

The rush of harvest is over. Throughout much of North America, precise ribbons of red, orange and yellow frame the landscape as grape leaves reflect the change in seasons. Soon, this colorful confetti will fall, allowing vines to rest. For vineyard managers, it’s just the opposite. A post-harvest checklist details a number of duties designed to ensure the success of next year’s crop. From soil analysis to composting evaluation, from disease control to aerial assessment, there are many reasons to stay active between the rows. From the Ground Up For centuries, the prevailing attitude among winemakers was that stressed vines produced higher-quality grapes. Rocky, rolling hills whisked away excess water and forced craggy vines to send roots far and wide […]

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Trout Springs: A Winery With a Twist

Trout Springs Winery, an award-winning winery in Greenleaf, Wisconsin, is not just a popular wine destination – it’s also a fish hatchery, a plant nursery and the only winery in the state that offers luxury camping in a vineyard. If you go into the tasting room, you can also try some of Trout Springs beers, produced off-site under the Sassy Girl label, as well as products made from freeze-dried grape skins and seeds that offer proven health benefits. To the casual observer, this may seem like a lot under one roof, but to Steve DeBaker and his wife, Andrea, co-owners and operations managers at Trout Springs, it’s all in a day’s work.  “We’re not your usual winery,” DeBaker told The […]

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Robot Created to Monitor Key Wine Vineyard Parameters

Grapes must be picked at the perfect point of maturation, and its plant must have the appropriate intake of water during its development so that the wine ends up having the properties that consumers request. Controlling those parameters which are so vital for vine-growers is not done on the ground because it is complicated and expensive and, if it is done, few can afford to use pressure chambers that measure water potential. “This prevents the vine-grower and winemaker from having access to complete and reliable information during the grape’s growth and maturation cycles, on a regular basis and in real time. This way, a majority of producers don’t use data that could help them optimise the handling of their vineyard […]

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Protecting Your Business From Employee Poachers

You’ve been in business for several years and have a dozen hard-working, dedicated employees working for your company, or so you think.  Out of the blue, a new competitor enters the market and the next thing you know, all 12 of your employees have jumped ship to join the new firm.  With them, they have taken company records and customer lists.  What do you do?  Do you have any legal recourse against the poaching company? Against your former employees?  How could you have prevented this? Can a Competitor “Poach” Your Employees? In most states, yes.  Many people are surprised to learn that, generally, poaching is a perfectly valid and legal way to find new employees. There are exceptions and limitations, of […]

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Tariffs, Tariffs, and More Tariffs

Toward the end of this week, take a minute to add up and total the amount of US tariffs imposed on Chinese goods imported into the US. You can glean this data from online aggregated digital news, television news, or from US Government pronouncements about Trump tariffs. I would be very surprised if the number does not exceed hundreds of billions of US dollars encompassing about half of all Chinese manufactured goods entering the US. The public comment period for most US-China tariffs to be imposed to date ended this past Friday so that such tariffs can be imposed by the US Government and will either be at 25% or 10% depending on the Chinese manufactured product. China and the US, up […]

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