So what happens in the vineyard during the winter?
- Pruning: enables us to achieve the proper balance between optimal growth and potential fruit quantity.
- During winter, zonda winds are not a major problem as the vines are dormant. However, once the bud breaks, strong winds and late frost become a concern as vines no longer have protection against extreme temperatures.
At winter’s end, it is critical to irrigate in order to prepare our vines for the rapid growth that occurs each spring. Proper irrigation ensures extensive sprouting, as well as consistent growth.
In our vineyard, we water for extended periods of time to ensure that the water reaches deep enough and creates a humid environment around the roots.
At the end of winter, we apply phosphorus through a pressurized irrigation system called “fertigation” to help root development. We also apply fertilizer (chicken manure) manually in areas of the vineyard with a greater concentration of rocks.
Our agronomist’s conclusions about winter 2013:
- A long winter but successfully completed all necessary farming activities. It was very cold with significant snowfalls in the Andes during July and August (twice as much as last year).
- Had a cool start to Spring: ideal as it allows the plants to develop homogeneously, and without additional stress or shock created by extreme weather conditions. It is early, but so far everything is proceeding to plan and we expect an excellent growing season and 2014 harvest.
Fact: Vines can grow as much as an inch per day in the weeks after the first budbreak.