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Soil and nutrients

By Jacqueline Maclaurin Viticultural Technician, Wither Hills Sunshine greeted us the middle of November and the temperatures started rising in time for the first field day of the season, a field day focusing on soil. Tim Jenkins, a soil scientist and microbiologist with a wide-ranging background in sustainable agriculture, talked on the techniques used to monitor […]

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Southern Spring: frosts, sward, and sowing

By Max Marriott Assistant Vineyard Manager, Vinewise Viticulture Despite an early budburst in Central Otago, time and growth seemed to almost stand still as cold, wet, dreary weather descended during October. By the end of the month, there were predictions that we were almost two weeks behind, which was exacerbated by the cold snap and […]

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A dry spring in Hawkes Bay

By Caine Thompson Viticulturist, Mission Estate The dry spring has continued through November and has bought on flowering rather quickly. Flowering is 80% complete in the Merlot and is at about 30% in the Syrah. For flowering sprays we are applying Switch for botrytis in the conventional blocks and Botryzen for botrytis in the organic […]

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Cutting through compaction: more on the para plough (with video)

By Jacqueline Maclaurin Viticultural Technician, Wither Hills As the season warms up so too does the shoot, weed and grass growth. The buckwheat and Phacelia are showing signs of growth. This year we sowed at a rate of 35 kilograms per hectare of buckwheat and 3 kilograms per hectare of Phacelia. This season we are […]

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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 […]

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Season one reflections: crop differences & adjustments in Marlborough

By Jacqueline Maclaurin Viticultural Technician, Wither Hills   The start of a new season is upon us; buds are starting to burst and slowly the temperatures are starting to rise, although frosts bring us back to the reality of what nature can deal. Rebecca, the project manager, has put some questions to us to answer […]

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First season reflections: undervine life and disease pressure in Central Otago

By Max Marriott Assistant Vineyard Manager, Vinewise Viticulture We were blessed with an Indian Summer for our autumn harvest, with idyllic weather for the duration. Early botrytis pressure from the rains in February/March had largely disappeared, though it was evident during harvest that the Pinot Gris suffered more than the Pinot Noir. Interestingly, the conventional […]

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Organic and conventional net similar results in Hawkes Bay, year one

By Caine Thompson Viticulturist, Mission Estate With the completion of year one of the organics project at our Mere Road vineyard, we turn to the onset of year two of the program after learning a lot about different growing systems over the past twelve months. A challenging season in Hawkes Bay put significant pressure on […]

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