Spring has arrived in Argentina!
While the UK is busy carving pumpkins, planning bonfire celebrations and generally settling into Autumn, Spring has arrived in Argentina. It's a hugely important time of year for producers as vineyard success depends on several things that happen in the Spring.
Some elements are out of a winemakers' control, such as timing of budbreak and the weather during this period, so there's definitely a lot of crossing of fingers and toes! Frosts, heat, winds and rain can cause buds to shatter. A late budbreak can result in a later harvest which potentially exposes grapes to autumnal rains, which can lead to rot and dilution of grapes.
Pruning the green shoots is an essential part of vineyard management in the Spring as this will shape the vine and determine the size and quality of the harvest. The timing of this is also critical - if you do it too early, you may have to do it again.
This is the point at which the canopy density is set, so this will depend very much on the location and microclimate of a vineyard as sun exposure will vary depending on the location.
The Andean snowmelt plays a huge role in viticulture in Argentina due its dry climate. As the winter snow starts to melt, an intricate irrigation system of dams, canals and channels brings vital water supplies down to the wine regions to sustain viticulture in this dry, arid climate.
So it's a pretty busy time of year for our producers and we have all our fingers and toes crossed for a good start to the new vintage!