Bordeaux wine growers struggle to keep on top of mildew

Thursday June 18 2020 by Vitisphere

In addition to the leaves, symptoms are also very visible on the clusters.In addition to the leaves, symptoms are also very visible on the clusters. - Photo credit : Christelle Stef

“Every anti-mildew spray costs money and adds to the prevailing gloom”, comments consultant winemaker and director of EnoSens Coutras, Pascal Hénot. Pressure from mildew is extremely high, “comparable to 2018, or even worse, because two years ago the onset didn’t start until the end of July”, he adds.

The disease first began to spread after rain on May 10, which made many plots inaccessible. “Since then, winegrowers have been struggling to keep on top of the fungus. Many are on their 6th spray, compared to 4 at the same time in a conventional year”.

The whole region is affected. “On my turf, in Libourne and Entre-Deux-Mers, the damage is not as visible on the leaves as in 2018, when you didn't even have to get out of your car. But as soon as you enter the vineyard, you realise that a lot of bunches are affected”.

More than 50% losses in some plots

In the Médoc, Romain Tourdias, wine advisor to the Chamber of Agriculture, has also reported some very strong pressure. “Symptoms on bunches and leaves have been developing for a fortnight. In some plots, more than half the crop has already been lost”.

According to Tourdias, though, some organic winegrowers are managing to contain the disease well. “Those who go through their vineyards before each rainy episode now only have a few spots on their leaves. Several winegrowers have already sprayed more than ten times”.

 

 

 

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