Saturday, September 02, 2006

better luck next year?

Well, Carinne, the lady from the winery, came to visit and gave the verdict that the Merlot (8 rows) was a complete write-off, but maybe the Cabernet (140 rows) could be saved. I explained that it would cost me 500 euros to get the Cabernet picked, so the grapes would have to be worth at least that! She reckons we've lost at least 60% of the Cabernet, but what we have left could be worth about 1500 to 1800 euros, so at the moment we're still planning to pick.

The first picture shows one of the vines bady affected.

According to the diary I've kept, the protection against greenfly ran out the day before the hailstorm, so the vines were subsceptible to that and to mildew.

The second picture was taken on July 17, and shows how the bunches each have some grapes affected by mildew. The risk is that the mildew can spread to the rest of the grapes.

Of course, what I didn't realise was that the mildew wasn't the big killer - it's the greenfly!

The third picture shows the same bunches on August 31 - the good grapes have turned purple and the mildew-ed grapes have just dried up, so there's still some hope...

The biggest problem now is that the greenfly has really taken hold so I'll have to spray at least twice to keep it in check (otherwise there'll be no leaves as well as no grapes, and that will affect next years crop).

Curiously, the pink stuff I'm spraying on now also protects against the "flavescence doree", subject of the earlier obligatory spraying, and is about a quarter the price. I still can't understand why we weren't told to use that one, and kill two bugs with one stone....


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