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Photo: © Gyula Gyukli/123rf.com

Photo: © Gyula Gyukli/123rf.com

PERFORMANCE Viticulture’s Ben Rose pulls out his check list for post-harvest vineyard care and pruning and it takes in everything from getting rid of non-performing varieties to a work schedule for rainy days.

The 2014/2013 season was very variable both from state to state, region to region and even within regions.

Early frosts, poor flowering conditions, late frosts, dry weather, heat extremes, wet weather and disease. As a grower how do you manage everything?

So before undertaking any work in and on the vineyard post-harvest the long term economics of the operation should be considered.

I don’t mean just the dollars and cents. Obviously making something from the vineyard is important – but there are probably blocks within it that when objectively assessed are actually pulling the business down.

For example, is there a block of, say, Shiraz, that has been harvested only twice in the past five years, either from disease or from lack of demand?

If so the future of these blocks should be carefully considered as just one or two poor performers can destroy a whole business.

The future of these blocks needs to be seriously considered along the following lines:

  • Should they be pulled out – and if so is it just the grapevines or trellis and all?
  • Should they be grafted (to what)?

Given the unsettled nature of the weather, it may be time for many vineyards and regions to consider what varieties work well. And what varieties do not perform to their best every year.

As the industry continues to mature, regions are becoming well known for certain varieties and we should be concentrating on what does well for the site and region.

Full story in the May 2014 issue of Grapegrower & Winemaker.

To access this story and more, visit www.winebiz.com.au/gwm.