Flowering has lasted almost three weeks and was completed one week earlier than in 2021. Therefore, we may expect our main harvest to start by mid- September. Weather was warm and changeable with several rain showers mainly during the early period of bud-break. As a consequence, earlier varietals on exposed sites were even more susceptible to ‘coulure’* or ‘drizzling’ than later budding vines. (*unfertilized parts of the inflorescence ‘drizzle’ to the ground, when the panicle is slightly shaken, blown upon or touched by the hand of the grower) Massive coulure obviously means heavy losses in yield. On the other hand, in general, we had a good fruit set, and we do not wish for too many berries clustering around the stems. When fully matured, they would be pressed firmly against each other risking that some berry skins will burst and invite diseases to settle in. Looser clusters will dry out easily after rainfall and are more likely to stay healthy. In some cases the grower then does not even have to reduce crop by handwork (i.e. take away young grapes or cut off parts of the clusters).
One important preventive procedure after flowering is to clean the clusters from all flower heads and unfertilized inflorescence by means of compressed air as those remains would favour rot. For all organic-certified growers, prophylaxis is especially important because they are not allowed to use systemic pesticides, which are absorbed by the plant or transported through its vascular system even into the fruit.