April 3, 2015 § Leave a comment
The vineyard life is a “romantic” lifestyle, but I don’t think that everyone is privy to all of the challenges that farmers may face. We are currently in the Spring months and monitoring the new growth of our vines. Randy Peters, grower for Kokomo, came to me a couple of weeks ago with the concern that as much as 20% of his vines are not looking healthy. As we continue to monitor these vines and talk to neighbor growers we have heard similar stories that they too were experiencing this sudden vine death. Just when we thought we made it through one of our main concerns every year, frost season, we were faced with yet another serious challenge. I will keep you posted on what we find out, but at this point we believe it has something to do with Pierce’s Disease, which is caused by a little mosquito-like insect called the glassy winged sharp shooter.
It always amazes me how many different challenges we face on a year to year basis trying to raise wine grapes. There are, of course, birds, varmints and deer to be controlled. More recently, our focus has been on nematodes living below the soil that have caused such viruses as fan leaf and red blotch. This year’s vine death has been a little more perplexing because we don’t know exactly what it is; however, we are taking samples of the vine into the lab and are anxiously awaiting the results. The main objective is to live harmoniously with all of nature in a way that losses are minimized and toxins are never used. We will keep bringing you the best wines we possibly can, but we can only do that with the healthiest vineyards, and that is an ongoing commitment and challenge that separates the farmers from the boys.