Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Oidio Update

Everyone in Tuscany is complaining about the malady. Powdery mildew is hitting all the vines, especially the older ones. The record wet year has caused this plague. Sadly, we are not spared. Sally and I just spent two days in the vineyard throwing away infected clusters. About half of all the fruit. I have learned some lessons from all this: Spray more copper sulfate on the north side of the rows. Prune the vines near trees more severely. Leaf prune on the morning side to allow more air and light to hit the clusters. And never underestimate powdery mildew.
Thus far we have survived the caterpillars. We have gotten half our fruit through the fungal plague thus far. If we can escape the oidio, we only have the deer and the birds and the wasps to worry about. Oh, and because we've removed a more than ordinary amount of leaf canopy, there's sunburn.

We will be lucky if we can make wine at all. But then, that's the deal every year.