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Tag Archives | viticulture

Old grenache vine

Old vines in South Africa, rediscovered and rescued

Older vines give more character to the wine, says Rosa Kruger, a well-known South African viticulturist. She is behind a project called South Africa’s Old Vines Project, which aims at finding old vineyards, vineyards that have often been abandoned. The idea with the project is to give a new life to these old vines. A […]

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Mechanical harvester straddling a row of vines

A new machine harvester for small vineyards

When some people think about machine harvesting, they often imagine big monsters that brutalize the vineyard. It is true that harvesting machines are often big machines, but they can be quite gentle to both grapes and vines. And soon there will be on the market a tiny harvesting machine, suitable for the small producer and […]

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Flowers in the vineyards in Limoux

Grass in the vineyard, yes, but which grass?

It is amazing how different vineyards look today compared to 30 years ago. Then, there was not one single straw of grass in the rows between the vines. Today vineyards are often vibrant and colourful with different plants and flowers to keep the vines company. But they also compete with the vines for water and […]

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Vineyards protected with a net against hail, Zuccardi, Mendoza, Argentina

Shading gives wines with lower alcohol

Many consumers perceive wines nowadays as more alcoholic than they used to be. This is actually quite true. This has to do with a lot of things (and not only global warming): grapes are harvested riper, wineries use better clones, consumers drink more wines from warmer climates, such as southern Italy, the New World, etc, […]

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Spraying in Clos des Goisses, Champagne

Oil spray in the vineyard to fight weeds

During our spring wine tours we have visited the small and interesting Champagne house Philipponnat. On our visit in early May we saw people working in their prestigious vineyard Clos des Goisses with knapsack sprayers on their backs. Obviously they were doing some kind of treatment. It turned out to be weed control with a […]

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CheckMate Puffer for sexual confusion

Sexual confusion in the vineyard, in a new simpler version

When we visited Château Pichon-Baron, grand cru classé in Pauillac, recently we saw a small canister in the vineyard that we have never seen before. This canister is called CheckMate Puffer and is a new way of distribute pheromones that protect against the grape worm with the method with the curious name “sexual confusion”. The […]

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Cleaning barrels with sulphur and a candle

“Organic” sulphur to be launched next year

Sulphur is something that is naturally present in our environment and it is a product that is allowed for all wine producers – organic as well as conventional – both to combat fungal diseases in the vineyard and as an antioxidant in the finished wine. However, there is a certain demand from organic producers for […]

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Marselan, recently planted vines

New grape varieties in France, some forgotten, some hybrids

Nine new grape varieties have been approved to be planted in the French vineyards. Five of them are old, almost extinct and forgotten grape varieties from the Southwest, from Gaillac, Fronton and other southwestern appellations: Bouysselet Blanc, Tardif, Verdanel Blanc, Gibert and Noual. The other four are so-called resistant grape varieties. These are new crosses […]

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Douro landscape and vineyards a rainy and sunny day

Climate change in the vineyards, is it a problem?

In late October, a conference called Tasting Climate Change was held in Canada. The subject was the impact of climate change on wine growing. An important question asked was: is it justifiable to plant vines where they have to be irrigated? Undoubtedly an interesting question. We asked ourselves approximately the same question when we wrote […]

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Vine burned by the frost in Languedoc

French wine producers’ main concerns 2018

On February 8, BIVB, Interprofession des Vins de Burgundy (BIVB), will host its annual conference, Vinosphère, to discuss the future of Burgundy. The things that will be discussed are probably high on the agenda for many other French wine regions as well. Loi Evin. This is the law that regulates what you can say and […]

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A glass of South African brandy, Alchemy of Gold

Fungus resistant grape varieties tested in Cognac

Cognac has a long-term plan to reduce the spraying in the vineyards. Currently, four different hybrids are being tested in the vineyards. All four grape varieties have good resistance to both downy mildew and powdery mildew. They also have the qualities required for cognac production, namely high acidity and low sugar content. And, not least, […]

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A vine leaf affected by mildiou

Wine myths: hybrids make poor wines

In the previous issue of the Brief. we wrote about myths in the wine world. Some of our readers have contacted us with comments. Among others, William H. Shoemaker, retired horticulturist from the University of Illinois. He wants to add the myth “wines from hybrids are inferior”. He adds: “While they may not reach the […]

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Big tractor equipped for spraying

Lower copper limit for organic wine producers. Maybe.

Being an organic winegrower means that you are obliged to spray with copper to prevent certain fungal diseases rather than using synthetic pesticides. Copper is effective primarily against mildiou. As with all other pesticides the authorisation to use copper is renewed every ten years. This year the EU will evaluate copper and decide whether to […]

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Marselan, recently planted vines

A future with herbicides replaced by thermal foam?

More and more herbicides are prohibited. What will happen to glyphosate and flumioxazin, two key ingredients in a variety of herbicides, is currently unclear. Many winemakers are preparing for a future without chemical weed removal. But there is no lack of new inventions. An Italian company will soon launch a new thermal weed control called […]

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Organic wine in a Systembolaget shop

When the Amazon book recommendations make you happy

If you shop at Amazon you are no doubt familiar with their recurring marketing mails. Depending on what you have previously bought and looked at they send you recommendations for other things “that might interest you”. The other day I had one of those mail after having browsed for some technical wine books. At the […]

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Vineyards protected with a net against hail, Zuccardi, Mendoza, Argentina

Protection against hail in Burgundy and Argentina

In Mendoza in Argentina they have nets to protect the vines against hail. In Burgundy they prefer to launch silver nitrate rockets in to the clouds. The effect is that the hail grains become smaller and fall more slowly to the ground. Hopefully. This is not a system that works all the time. But obviously […]

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Biodynamic Wine by Monty Waldin – cover

Biodynamic Wine by Monty Waldin | book review

For those of you who really want to know how a biodynamic wine producer work in the vineyard, and also in the cellar, this book is indispensable. Monty Waldin is a specialist. He believes in biodynamic agriculture and although you, as a reader, may doubt some of the things he write, there is no denying […]

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Hail destroys vineyards in Languedoc

A violent hailstorm caused great damage in among others the Pic Saint Loup and Grès de Montpellier appellations in Languedoc on 17 August. Grapes from hundreds of hectares were completely destroyed. The vines afterwards were completely naked, not a single leaf or grape bunch remained. Some growers lost their entire harvest and the Pic Saint […]

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Smoke gets in your wine?

Fires break out now and then in the immediate vicinity of vineyards. It can be violent fires that go on for days, or even weeks. Although the vines may not be affected directly by the fire, will the smoke have an impact on the finished wine? Yes, it is very likely, according to an article […]

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Glyphosate, a herbicide to be allowed, or not?

The debate around glyphosate continues. The product is used as an herbicide, in for instance Roundup. It has been, since a while back, on EU’s list of unsafe products that maybe should be phased out. It is now time to renew the permit for its use (which is done every ten years for pesticides). This […]

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A modern grape sorting machine

Precision viticulture with the VineRobot

The wine grower has to take many decisions concerning the work in the vineyard. All decisions may affect the quality of the wine. So it is important that he makes the right decisions. Soon, the grower can get the help of VineRobot. This is a little robot that goes around the vineyard unmanned and equipped […]

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