Monday, February 19th, 2007...9:52 am
The year we lost the entire crop- 2004 was largely because our canopy management went to shot. Too much foliage, bad pruning and no thinning. Added to that we were growing very vigorous varieties susceptible to mildews such as Sauvignon Blanc.
We had bad bad mildew problems that year and were not able to control it. The good thing was that it really forced me to learn about control and treatment options. Take a look at his for bad canopy management and mildew.
Poor canopy management the year we lost the entire (2004)
However it really helps to get it right from the beginning-Right from the word pruning. We now prune the vines twice a year and keep up a spray routine throughout the year as well. Incidentally they also prune vines twice a year in India too due to the lack of a proper winter. We did not do this before and so the mildews were able to take hold when the vines were not as carefully monitored because nothing was going on in the vineyard. The new growth was then readily innoculated with the disease and we were already starting the control program two steps behind. We also changed our pruning technique so it is much more simple and allows good sunshine to get to the buds needed for growing the next seasons fruiting canes. Infact the vineyard and canopy management is what its all about in producing a crop with the potential for a good wine. Some lessons are best learnt from mistakes.