Sunday, July 17, 2011

Just when you thought it was safe.....

For an amazing photo gallery of the destruction caused by the Hail, have a look at:
Bizeljsko Hail Photos

Unfortunately the picture below was not taken in January – but last week in the middle of July……

By mid-July things have normally settled down in the vineyard. There are occasional treatments for peronospera (downy mildew) and oidium, some “haircutting” of vines and of course, grass cutting between the rows of vines.

But the one threat that has normally passed by now is Hail. However, last week there was a devastating hail storm that destroyed over 1,000 hectares of crops – vines, corn, apples, hay etc. We were very lucky to escape here in our little corner in the East – but less than an hour away, many of the vineyards in the prime region of Biseljsko were totally destroyed.

The impact was devastating – the size of the hailstones left no room for anything to survive.

Sinead and I passed through the region two days later and took some photos of what was left. Many corn fields were just being ploughed back into the soil. The orchards are destroyed – and the vineyards....... Well, it’s not just a very obvious problem for this year – the issue is vastly complicated by the fact that the shoots for next year’s growth are also destroyed – and it will even impact into growth in two years time. Here in Jeruzalem we suffered very bad hail two years ago in July and there was significant damage – but there is a possible small window of hope – it would seem that this year (two years later) the vines are particularly healthy here – almost as if they have a new lease of life – so it may be that some small scrap of good could come from last week’s hail in Bizeljsko – but it’s difficult to see that at this point.

It’s worth remembering what a vineyard should look like in July – our own….

And then the hail-devastated landscape of Bizeljsko…….the hail is long gone, but the barren landscape remains....

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