Walking the talk on vineyard renewal

Forty grape growers gathered at Morrison’s Vineyard in Leasingham on Friday to take part in the first of a series of vineyard walks, ‘Walking the Talk’, a new initiative by the Clare Valley Wine & Grape Association (CVWGA).

The focus was on vineyard renewal, including reworking vines affected with Eutypa dieback and reinvigorating vineyards with mulch.

Guest presenter, Chris Rogers, shared soil moisture data from the association’s mulch trial, comparing straw mulch with woody mulch and bare earth.

Cabernet Sauvignon is a variety that has reportedly been overlooked in the Clare Valley in recent years.

Growers were introduced to some of the new Cabernet Sauvignon clones being grown in the region.

The association plans to expand on this theme further in its next vineyard walk.

Agronomist and grape grower, Mick Faulkner, provided an update on the Mesonet, a network of 40 compliant weather stations being installed throughout the Mid North to provide chemical users with a decision tool for when it is safe to spray.

This real-time weather information will soon be available through an app, providing farmers and grape growers with specific information about inversion conditions and alerting them when not to spray.

CVWGA project officer, Anna Baum, said not only did the vineyard walk provide members with useful technical information, it was also an opportunity to network and discuss the start of vintage.

“Picking early varieties started in earnest last week and the first of the riesling will be harvested this week,” she said.