The World Cup is in full swing and we happen to have found ourselves tucked away in the corner of a country that seems to be doing rather well! Hopes are high for Slovenia’s progress - there isn’t quite as much panic to finish work in the vineyard and there is many a lively conversation about how the game against England will go. Suffice to say, I’d prefer to be watching it here than in England!
We’ve also had some mixed weather over the past week – overcast and rainy. It’s not completely unusual, but it does mean that the one thing everyone is alert for is Peronospera, or mildew. The greatest danger time is when the weather oscillates from damp and cool, to warm and slightly less damp. Tractors are regularly shuttling past the front door and in and out of vineyards, actively spraying the vines. And it will most likely continue this way for the next few weeks.
Of course, as someone who has read numerous dissertations on the subject and also given the odd tasting on the same theme, the whole issue of spraying – and more importantly, what is actually being sprayed – is something every novice (and experienced) winemaker has an opinion on. But, as with many things, the actual practical experience is very different to the theory. Of course, we would love to change the process and methods utilised in our vineyard overnight to more “sustainable” ones, but the first step is to actually understand the current ones, evaluate them and then make reasoned decisions. The other half of the coin is of course that any good practices undertaken in the vineyard can of course be undone by shoddy practices in the vinification of the wines.
But at least the debate is lively! For me, the most realistic objective would be to incorporate the principles of “la lutte raisoneé” – the reasoned battle, effectively an widely practised approach where winemakers are responsible and respectful for their environment.
For those who really want to get into the nitty gritty, have a look at the Blog below:
Right or wrong (and there’s plenty of debate!), it will certainly keep you occupied during those less exciting World Cup matches!