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Wine Diary

Vine Health Care

March 15, 2019

As with human beings, vines need years of time to grow and develop.

In our most treasured vineyards every healthy, grown plant counts. Some dangers can be averted by preventive measures: our predator mites, encouraged by the grower, now have woken up from hibernation and started their raids, thus contributing to the health of leaves, wood and fruit.

Pheromones spread in the vineyards will contain the damage done by the grape berry moths just by confusing the males and preventing them from finding mating partners.

One complex fungal disease is Esca: it forces its way from warmer regions supported by climate warming. In its slower version, the vines may suffer years and years before finally dying. Yet, by removing affected parts we may heal the vine. “We work a bit like a dentist,” says Willi Bründlmayer, “who has to remove tooth decay with his dreaded drill.” We remove all damaged parts of the stem with the help of little saws. Only the healthy wood remains. In springtime the plant will build its own protection, by its inherent wound closure capacity, and form new bark. Our experience so far shows that after the intervention up to 90% of the “patients” may fully recover.

Especially in the most valuable vineyards such as the Zöbinger Heiligenstein, time and expense seem justified.

End of pruning

We have finished pruning and are training the one year branches to the trellises in order to form a bow – by this measure the future sprouts will be optimally distributed in the available space and get enough air and light to breathe.