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Considerations for starting an organic vinyard

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Slideshow presented by Michael Lightfoot at the 2015 ACORN Conference PEI

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Considerations for starting an organic vinyard

  1. 1. Considerations  for  Starting  an  Organic  Vineyard        -­‐ACORN  Conference  2015  workshop  
  2. 2. The  Beginning  Stages…   •  Decisions-­‐  organic   vs.  conventional.   •  skill   •  physical  labour   •  Ability-­‐mentoring,   hiring  consultants.   •  Financial-­‐  between   $25,000.00-­‐ $35,000.00  per  acre   planted.  (-­‐land)  
  3. 3. Site  Selection       -­‐Numerous  different  grape   varieties  to  suit    available   land.   -­‐Growing  degree  days.   -­‐Slopes-­‐  south  slope  best  but   not  critical.  Slope  promotes   cold  air  drainage.   -­‐Frost  free  days.   -­‐Coldest  average  winter   temperature.   -­‐Innovation.       Ideally  near  a  large  body  of   water.    
  4. 4. The  Terroir  Factor   Cool  climate  -­‐>  higher  acidity  -­‐>  crisp  whites,  light  reds,    sparkling  wines,   and  ice  wine  are  all  styles  we  can  make  in  our  maritime  climate.  
  5. 5. Future  Wine  Styles   •  Future  –  focus  on   Quality     •     Champagne  vs.  Nova                           Scotia   •  What  wine  styles  can   we  consistently   produce  here  at  a  high   quality  level  that  will   put  us  on  the  world   wine  map?      
  6. 6.   Land  Prep  and  Tile  Drainage    • Soil  tests/  adjust  PH     and  micro  nutrients.  One   year  in  advance  of   planting.     • Drainage-­‐  grapes  hate   wet  feet.  Install  4”   perforated    drain  pipes   every  other  row.   Roughly  18’-­‐20’  at   approx.  36”  deep.  Hire  a   professional  company.   • Rip(sub-­‐soil)-­‐  across   the  rows  before  planting   to  fracture  and  aerate     root  zone.  
  7. 7. The  Vines   • Plant  only  certibied  clean  vines  from  a  professional  grapevine   nursery.   • Professional  vines  save  time  and  money  and  promote  the  health  of   the  vineyard.   • Order  vines  well  in  advance,  2  year  wait  times  are  typical  for  most   vines.   • Vine  Tech  Canada,  Mori  Vines  in  Ontario,  or  A&M  Viticulture  in   Quebec  are  all  reputable  options  for  the  East  Coast.  
  8. 8. Vineyard  Layout   • Row  orientation  north  – south  is  the  best.   • Lay  out  blocks  keep  neat   and  organized.     • For  larger  plantings  hire  a   laser  planter  as  this   picture  shows.   • We  typically  plant  vines   4.5  feet  within  the  row  and   9  -­‐10  feet  between  rows.   This  equates  to  roughly     1000  vines  per  acre.   • If  you  don’t  plan  on   specialized  equipment  go   with  10  feet.  
  9. 9. Vineyard  Block  Layout  
  10. 10. Trellis  System    Many  factors  inbluence   your  trellis  system:     • Type  of  vine-­‐intended   use  or  wine  style.   • climate   • Organic  /   conventional   • Skill  levels  of   employees  for  pruning.   • Mechanization.   • Materials-­‐  Galvanized   posts,  wood  posts  not   treated  (organic)   • Buy  the  best  you  can   afford.  This  can  last  the   life  of  your  vineyard.  
  11. 11. Organic  Vineyard  Inputs   -­‐ Start  of  season  before  bud  break  we  use  spray  oil  13e  ,     kills  overwintering  spore  and  insects  ,  erineum  mite. -­‐  Throughout  growing  season  comba?ng  powdery  mildew  with  the  use  of   horsetail  tea    150  g  per  ha    when  disease  pressure  is  high  we  will  also  use   kumulus  which  is  a  sulphur  based  product. -­‐  Mid  summer  to  mid  fall  we  use  copper  53w  to  combat  both  downy  and   powder  mildew.  We  start  with  super  low  applica?on  rates    like  400  grams  per   ha.    If  disease  pressure  is  high,  rates  as  high  as  2  kg  per  ha.      We  are  always   looking  to  reduce  copper  usage  in  vineyard  .      -­‐AHer  flower  we  use  serenade  max    it  is  a  beneficial  fungus  which  colonizes   clusters  and  prevents  botry?s  from  taking  hold,  we  also  apply  a  second   applica?on  at  bunch  closure,  this  is  a  fruit  zone  spray  only. -­‐We  are  applying  4  sprays  a  year  of  prep  500    similar  to  compost  tea. future  plans  are  to  increase  compost  tea. -­‐We  use  sea  weed  extract  up  to  5  ?mes  a  year,    full  of  nutrients,  relives  plant   stress,    elongates  clusters    and  improves  plant  health. -­‐S?nging  neMle  is  used  for  stressed  plants      this  is  made  into  a  tea  then  applied. -­‐We  apply  solubor  (boron)  very  important  for  fruit  set  and  it’s  basically  non   existent    in  our  soils  .  Our  methods  are,  soil  drenches  and  foliage  sprays.   -­‐The  best  input  of  all  is  your  footsteps.  
  12. 12. Biodynamics  ~       •  Prep  500  Horn  Manure,    cow  manure  in  cow  horn  and  buried  during   equinox  dug  up  at  sols?ce,  about  a  golf  ball  amount  /ha  s?rred    with   water  (dynamized)  like  a  compost  tea,  s?mulates  root  growth  .     •  Prep  501  Horn  Silica,  crushed  quartz  crystal  mixed  with  water  to  make   paste,  put  in  cow  horn  at  sols?ce,  buried  and  dug  up  at  equinox,  mixed   with  water  and  sprayed  to  s?mulate  photosynthesis  and  structural   strength  in  plants.   •  Prep  502-­‐507  are  put  into  compost  pile  once  a  year.  They  help  in  the   compos?ng  process  and  makes  certain  elements  more  readily  available   for  the  plants.  We  spread  the  compost  once  a  year  in  a  fine  skiff  under   the  plants.  Also  making  a  compost  tea  out  of  it.   •  502  Yarrow-­‐  helps  with  the  plans  ability  to  absorb  potassium  in  balanced   manner,  helps  aid  the  forma?on  of  plant  proteins.     •  503  Chamomile-­‐  stabilizes  nitrogen  content  of  compost.     •  504  S3nging  Ne6le-­‐  Enhances  plants  ability  to  absorb  Iron.  Can  also  be   used  as  a  tea  and  sprayed  as  a  foliar    applica?on.       •  505  Oak  Bark-­‐  Enhances  plants  ability  to  absorb  calcium     •  506  Dandelion-­‐  Balances  the  plants  rela?onship  with  calcium       •  507  Valerian-­‐  Enhances  the  plants  ability  to  absorb  Phosphorus   •  Horsetail  tea    
  13. 13. Winegrowing    
  14. 14. Resources:     • General  Vi;culture  by  AJ  Winkler     •   Agriculture  Course:  The  Birth  of  the  Biodynamic  Method  (Classic  Transla;on)   By    Ruldoph  Steiner       • Vines  Grapes  and  Wines  by  Jancis  Robinson       • Oregon  Wine  Grape  Growers  Guide-­‐  Oregon  Wine  Growers  Associa?on       • Winework:  Growing  Grapes  and  Making  Wine  in  Cold  Climates   by  Thomas  A.  Plocher  &  Robert  J.  Parke     • Sunlight  Into  Wine;  A  Handbook  for  Wine  Grape  Canopy  Arrangement.     by  Richard  Smart  &  Mike  Robinson              
  15. 15. Speaker:  Micheal  Ligh`oot      email:  mike@ligh`ootandwolfvillewines.com                                 lwwines  

Slideshow presented by Michael Lightfoot at the 2015 ACORN Conference PEI

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