Archive: Vineyard Info

Are You Protecting What You’ve Worked so Hard to Build?

  Picture it – clearing the fields, row mapping, proper drainage, all those plantings – and – your first yield. You have come so far to get to where you are today! Countless hours, lots of hard work and now you really have something – your pride and joy. But now that you’ve come so far and you’re more established, your risks are more significant and there is just so much more to lose. Are you proactively working to protect what you’ve worked so hard to build? Winter is generally a quieter time and is a good time to identify potential risks that could pose a threat to your business. This can mean many different things to winemakers. For some […]

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Trunk Diseases Confirmed in the Midwest, and Everywhere Grapes are Grown!!!

    I am writing again about Grapevine Trunk Diseases (GTD) in the Midwest, following the article with Mike White (ISU extension viticulturist) published in this magazine in September-October 2018. In that article we raised the question as to whether the commonly seen “winter kill” symptoms of dead cordons and spurs, and poor budbreak, may be mis-diagnosed in the region, as they also correspond to common GTD fungi symptoms. I raised this with some “old hands” in the industry, and they laughed at the suggestion. I hope this article might cause them to reconsider (but probably not). We have two developments to report. Firstly, there has been quite some activity in testing of samples, much of it by Mike. Initially […]

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Grapevine Leafroll & Red Blotch Viruses Management Discussion at the Unified Symposium

  Last January I attended the virus management session organized by the Unified Symposium in Sacramento, CA. Maher Al Rwahnih, James Stamp, Rick Hamman, and Eric Pooler were invited speakers.  While it is common sense that it is important to plant healthy vines to avoid the perpetration of viral diseases, we are learning that it is not that simple.  A couple of years ago we heard that even the most tested and best maintained foundation block in California is susceptible to becoming infected by viruses.  I will present my take on the different presentations and add my ideas on solving such important issues. The Russell Ranch Foundation Block Virus Status Maher Al Rwahnih from The University of California Foundation Plant Services […]

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Specialty Tractors for the Vineyard

  As mechanization of vineyards becomes the norm throughout the world, equipment manufacturers have seen an opportunity to specialize. Tractors, in particular, are being designed to fit down the narrow rows of vineyards and orchards, as well as with higher horsepower, better versatility and ease-of-use. Now is the time for vineyards to re-invest in a new machine, since industry leaders, including John Deere, Kubota, and New Holland, all sell models specialized for vineyards and orchards. With a little research and guidance, vineyard owners and managers can easily find the best tractor for their specific needs. Many wine growers may question why they need specialized equipment when they can just purchase a utility tractor for their farming needs. However, the needs […]

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Spray, Mow And Mulch Your Way To Better Grape Yields

  Quality wines start with quality grapes. Quality grapes start with quality care, meaning everything from the soil to the prevention of disease and insect damage. Proper mowers, mulchers and spray systems can help with this process. Slimline Manufacturing: Go With The Flow Wayne Riddle sells Turbo-Mist Agricultural Sprayers for Slimline Manufacturing, based in British Columbia, Canada. Slimline sprayers take advantage of the wind’s trajectory, transforming a potential setback into the sprayer’s key feature. “Any successful chemical application is based on good circulation,” says Riddle. “So, we control the movement of the wind to direct chemically loaded droplets to their target. The terminology that we use is the gear-up, throttle-down method, which is to say that we can speed up […]

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The Spirit of Alliance: Oregon’s Philosophy of Collaboration

  Although Oregon has been home to vineyards as far back as 1847, after the end of Prohibition in 1933, it needed a bit of rebuilding. It wasn’t until the 1960s and 70s that winemakers made the trek from the Mediterranean and mild climates of California to do just that, throwing their hats in the ring to grow grapes in a new and very different terrain. It was during this time that well-known names like Dick and Kina Erath, Dick and Nancy Ponzi, Susan and Bill Sokol Blosser, David and Diane Lett and David and Ginny Adelsheim put down roots around the state of Oregon and started vineyards. Some had education and training in viticulture; some did not. Most had […]

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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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