Spring sprays and cultivation continue

By Caine Thompson

Viticulturist, Mission Estate

We have experienced a relatively dry spring to date with little rainfall.

Growth is therefore steady but is fairly patchy in terms of shoot growth along canes in both Merlot and Syrah blocks.

To date we have applied sulphur and copper to the canopies of both organic and conventional blocks. The conventional block has also had an early season Tokuthion for mealy bug control.

We have recently put the Tournesol through the organic blocks as the original mounding up phase that was completed in September had not ‘broken down’ sufficiently for our own blade cultivation to successfully operate within these conditions. The Tournesol has done a fantastic job in terms of leveling and breaking down the mounds, which will speed up future cultivation passes in the later part of the season.

As we look forward we will be wire lifting in the next month as shoot growth continues.

At this stage there doesn’t seem to be any visible difference in shoot growth when comparing the organic and conventional treatments.

Merlot, Oct 31: organic on left, conventional on right