Thursday, September 11, 2008

1-2 Leaf Stage EL-5-6 - UPDATE 11/9/2008

Warm temperatures have meant rapid budburst and shoot development. Vineyards on the Piedmount of the Sellicks Ranges (the name is a contraction of the Italian "ai piedi del monte", meaning "at the base of the mountain") near the Victory Hotel, Culley Rd and Ryan Rd are the most advanced. Some Chardonnay is at the 2 clear leaf stage.

Our early feeling are that the vines look to be advancing evenly.

At this early point of the season little can be seen. The four major pest and diseases are very rarely seen so soon after bud burst, if at all.

It is too early for Botrytis and Downy Mildew to start their life cycles. Light Brown Apple Moth can only be found in very low levels in other host plants.

Powdery Mildew over winters in diseased buds - these burst in 3-4 weeks as flagshoots. In our experience only 2-3% of McLaren Vale vineyards have serious issues with flagshoots. The Powdery in most vineyards begins around flowering from Cleistothecia (powdery spores which survive winter like seeds).

Bud mites (pictured) can be seen now. Levels of 1-2% are typical and shouldn't have any effect on your potential yield for this year. The stunted leaf with no growing tip is caused by the mites chewy the bud during dormancy.

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