Monday, July 25, 2011

That bastard scourge Powdery Mildew

Powdery Mildew (Oidium)

This horrible scourge of all vineyards is caused by a fungus called Uncinula necator.This fungus will infect vineyards with the first spring rains and temperatures of 15°C or higher. Therefore it is important to start spraying at budburst. At Domaine la Sarabande we only spray sulfur to prevent Oidium and only when the weather dictates that a spray is necessary.

2011 Growing season in Faugères

We had an amazing start to our growing season in Faugères. We had a huge dump of rain in early spring and then very warm temperatures for a good two weeks. The vines had a lot of energy to start growing and as we had two low cropping years previously we had a huge bunch initiation. We also had a very good flowering this year so our vines are finally about to show us their true potential. The downside though is that there is more leaf on our vines this year so the fruit is more hidden and doesn't have the usual airflow which keeps the disease pressure low. That said we still have managed to keep our sulfur sprays to a minimum but we have had a real outbreak of Oidium late in the season which has especially attacked our Carignan vines. Carignan is a brute
as it is very susceptible to Oidium and our vineyard is especially vunerable as it is very old as has not been treated well in the years before we took over the vines.

The Sorting Table

As we pick by hand it is quite esy for us to sort the grapes when they come into the winery.
Hopefully we get through the next few weeks without too much infection. Nothing is ever easy
in the vineyards so lets hope we can keep the bastard scouge at bay!

Ready to infect your vineyards.

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