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Tag Archives | viticulture

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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Grenache, rusty sign

Even better Grenache thanks to Rhône research

Grenache is one of the world’s most widely grown grape varieties. And one of our favourite grapes.It is found mainly in southern France and in Spain (Garnacha), but also in several other countries such as South Africa, Chile, and the United States. Everywhere there is a growing interest in the grape. It even has its […]

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A distillation machine (still) in stainless steel and copper

Lower the copper doses or not in the vineyard?

The copper doses are a constant headache for organic growers. The French authority ANSES (a food and health authority) and the European Commission want to reduce the permitted level from 6 kilogram per hectare and year to 4 kilo The organic growers say that they are not able to cope with such a reduction. On […]

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More expensive to produce organic wines?

Do organic wines cost more than conventionally produced wines? This has never been an easy question to answer because it is difficult to compare the prices of wines. It is easier with tomatoes and eggs. If you look at production costs however, it turns out that it is more expensive to produce an organic wine. […]

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The mother vine, the beginning of everything

Where do all the vines come from? In most cases they are purchased from nurseries. Some wine growers take cuttings from their own vineyard, but it is unusual. In France, nurseries have a total of 3564 hectares of mother plants or mother vines (vignes-mères), divided into 2002 hectares with rootstocks (porte-greffes) and 1562 hectares with […]

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Less spraying with resistant grape varieties

For more than a decade there has been research going on in France in order to obtain grape varieties that are resistant to the fungal diseases oidium and mildiou. The research organization INRA believe that these varieties will be able to come on the market in 2017. 36 different resistance crossings are already out in […]

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Champagne Roederer has its own nursery

Champagne Louis Roederer has, as one of the few wine producers in France, been approved as a “pepiniériste privé”, ie as a private nursery for vines. Roederer will now grow their own American root stocks. On these they will graft cuttings taken from their own vineyards. It is very unusual for wine producers to do […]

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A budding vine in a vineyard in Le Marche

First “natural” herbicide launched

The first “natural” herbicide is now available on the market. The name is Beloukha and the company that manufactures the product is called Jade. Beloukha is a fatty acid derived from rapeseed oil. Spraying with the product gives the vineyard protection against weeds around three weeks depending on weather conditions. For best results spraying should […]

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Stricter rules in Austria for spraying with copper

Organic producers are criticized for their use of copper in the vineyards. The EU allows 6 kilograms of copper per hectare and per year for organic producers, as we mentioned recently (Organic viticulture: How do you use less copper?). But one of our readers, Gottfried Lamprecht, an organic wine producers in southern Austria, has pointed […]

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Tractor equipped for spraying

Spraying of vineyards: 26 active substances should be replaced, says EU commission

The European Commission has recently published a list of 26 active substances used in viticulture that should eventually be replaced, because of their danger to people or the environment. On the list are copper sulphate, copper hydroxide, copper oxide chloride and copper oxide. All of these are used for spraying against fungal diseases, especially downy […]

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Organic viticulture: How do you use less copper?

It does not matter if you are organic or not. All vineyards can suffer from various diseases. Against certain fungal diseases, downy mildew for example, you can spray with copper, usually in the form of copper sulphate. Both organic and conventional growers use copper but the conventional ones can also, or instead, use synthetic chemical […]

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