Unintended consequences

At the end of last season we instituted a process to ensure that there were no ‘overwintering’ powdery mildew spores – the cause of the devastation of the 2015 Pinot and Chardonnay crops.  This involved two sprays of lime sulphur: one after leaf fall and before pruning and the second after pruning and with the canes tied down.

Well, so far so good.  The preventative spray whose lack of efficacy caused the infestation has been dropped from the program and, apart from a number of flag shoots (sources of powdery mildew) on the Chardonnay, all is good.  The unintended consequence has been that a pest that has affected the Riesling and Chardonnay in the lower vineyard has been eliminated.  Blister (erinose) mite was introduced when I bought some Riesling rootlings to extend the plantings.  That was in 1990 I think and we have been battling every since.  So far there has been so signs of this pest.

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