In Winter 2008 Richard McGeachy traveled to Europe to investigate their viticulture and bring techniques back to McLaren Vale. Some of the issues faced in Burgundy are experienced here also. Iron (Fe) deficiency is a plant disorder known as "lime-induced chlorosis".
|Limestone from the subsoil mixed into the topsoil by tillage.|
This photo above was taken in the hills just to the west of the town of Gevrey Chambertin – showing the amount of limestone present in the freshly tilled paddock.
|Severe lime induced chlorosis.Symptoms include leaves turning yellow or brown in the margins between the veins which may remain green, while young leaves may appear to be bleached.|
This second photo shows severe lime induced chlorosis in a Pinot Noir vineyard near the town of Gevrey Chambertin.
|A low level of lime induced chlorosis (yellow leaves).|
This final photo above shows that some vineyards were more severely affected than others depending on the depth of top soil – and likely whether the grower was applying iron or not!
Growers in South Australia have had good success using EDDHA chelated iron to correct their iron deficiency induced chlorosis. Ironically most of these chelated iron products are imported from Europe.