We do not use any insecticide but we do have a very healthy population of Praying Mantis which control other insects.
I was cleaning a storm drain ditch when one decided to have a ride.
I have been bitten by one once, I was moving picked bunches of grapes by hand, it is as painful as being stung by a wasp.
Replacements Spring and Winter.
This year I planted 1,000 replacement vines Grenache (Pradel), Mourvedre (Vayere and Font Du Clos) and Syrah Vayere about a third of each. I wanted to plant them earlier than last year so they had a greater chance of taking, we usually get bud break early April but this year it was two weeks in advance as I have mentioned in a previous mailing. We suffered badly with a frost which nearly affected 100% of our vineyards which reduced the yield, we also lost some of the 600 replacement vines that I had planted last year.
I started planting on the 8th of April it took me a week.
This is Pradel a Grenache vineyard which I planted in 1991. First I have to remove any traces of the previous vine in case of disease.
This is Vayere the vineyard I have been working on is in the centre of the image background, you should be able to see the mounds of soil. it is Syrah which I planted in 1990.
This is Mourvedre at Font du Clos planted in 1972 not by me. it was originally established as a goblet (bush) vineyard. I have replaced the soil using a different tool. In the early 2000's I converted it to wire, so that it could be harvested mechanically. It is a hectare that would involve removing 15,000 branches (chainsaw), installing hundreds of posts and miles of wire. During that period I converted 4.5 hectares.
We were unable to obtain compost this year so I used this product it promotes root growth, it is certified as Bio. I have used it before, 100€ for 5 litres I used 15 litres you mix it with water.when you irrigate.
1,000 vines cost 1,500€ as I mentioned earlier I had them in April the supplier allowed us to pay in three payments of 500€: June, July and August. We have been buying from them for more than 30 years.
It will be several years before we get a return on this.
Because of Covid 19 there are no Christmas markets taking place and we have stock in he UK for these events, so we have decided to reduce our prices by £6 a carton that is £1 off a bottle.
They deliver Tuesdays and Saturdays, charges: first carton £8 any extra £1. Which I think is very reasonable as is their charge for the Newcastle/Gateshead to the Coast deliveries.