Protecting the Vines at Avignonesi
New happenings here at Avignonesi! While we wait for the buds to break in the spring, winter is for pruning and taking care of the very base of wine - the trunks of the vine!
For our vineyards that are bush-trained, after a number of years, the vines grow too tall and need to be cut down to stay healthy and produce the right amount of spurs. We comb through our vineyards each winter to identify the vines which need to be treated. To protect the vines afterwards, we treat the part of the wood that was just cut with a specially made, in-house, biodynamic paste.
The paste provides a protective covering where the wood was cut to help it heal faster, and to prevent infection by mounds that cause trunk disease. It can also be used to enhance the vitality of the trunk, to help protect the bark from splitting and to discourage insect breeding and infestation.
Many other farmers around the world use a similar method. What changes is the recipe, which varies depending on what specific need you have. Our main ingredients are:
- Cow dung (fresh and organic - the same used for our biodynamic preparation 500)
- Propolis (from bees. Helps with the healing process and is a disinfectant)
- Basalt (adds fresh minerals and nutrients, mostly silica and calcium, which are great for strengthening the cells of the vine)
- Kaolin (used as an insect repellent it protects the trunk from frost. It also makes the mixture a little sticky which helps application)
- Horsetail tea (an ancient plant that has a high content of silica as well as being anti-fungal. This is also known as Biodynamic Preparation 508)
Take a look at how we make the paste and how our team applies it on the vines.
Starting off with fresh cow dung
The propolis, basalt and kaolin are added in
Everything is added to a container and mixed with the horsetail tea.
The final paste, which is ready to be used on the vines
Andrea, working at La Selva, preparing to cut a vine that is too tall
Andrea and Krassen, cutting the vine. Notice the shorter vines in the background
Krassen, spreading the paste on the freshly cut vine
A cut vine with the paste recently applied