Wine industry honours best vineyard practices
agriOrbit - Jan 31st 2018, 10:26
The best wine grape vineyards in the Western Cape have one thing in common – they are managed according to the wine the grapes are destined for. Vinpro and Winetech recently announced the five regional winners of their annual Vineyard Block Competition.
“Even before the first berries are harvested, these producers know which wine the grapes will be used for, and cultivate their vineyards accordingly,” says Francois Viljoen, manager of Vinpro’s viticultural and soil consultation service.
The entries are judged according to relevant themes that are chosen specifically in each region every year.
The 2018 winners in the respective regions are:
- Olifants River: Basie van Lill from the farm Arbeidseind, with a 28 year old Chenin Blanc vineyard.
- Paarl/Swartland: Wilhelm Relihan from the farm Oak Valley, with a Chardonnay block.
- Robertson: A Chenin Blanc vineyard on the farm Vinefera, owned by Louis Loubser.
- Stellenbosch: Wilhelm Joubert and the team at Hartenberg with a Merlot vineyard.
- Worcester/Breedekloof: A Pinotage vineyard block of Phil du Toit on the farm Rustfontein.
The strengths of each winning vineyard block were showcased during farmers’ days in the respective regions (excluding Olifants River). The choice of rootstock and clone for the specific area and wine goal is the first step towards a wine goal oriented vineyard. Hereafter proper soil preparation according to the soil type will ensure optimal root distribution, and a suitable trellis system is introduced to accommodate the canopy.
Producers had to adapt quickly to the continuous drought and find ways to use water more efficiently without compromising quality and yield. By implementing soil water monitors, producers are able to schedule irrigation more effectively; vigour is manipulated by applying less fertiliser and focused canopy management decreases evaporation and water usage.
The Vinpro/Winetech Vineyard Block Competition is held annually in the respective regions to identify, evaluate and share optimal vineyard practices pertaining to the specific theme with the rest of the industry.agriOrbit
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