Winter in the Vineyard

Right now the vines are dormat and enjoying a little sleep. If you drive through the vineyard areas you will see different types of grass and flowers growing in between the rows. These plants are not randomly growing in the rows. They were planted there for a reason (and no it’s not just because they look pretty). These plants are called cover crops.

Cover crops help protect and enrich the soil in a variety of ways. They help regulate vine growth, protect soil from erosion, improve soil fertility, draw away the abundant moisture, help with air quality, and introduce beneficial insects to the soil and vine.

The photos you see above are from Lanza-Musto Vineyards. At Lanza-Musto Vineyards we planted three peas, crimson clover, mustard, and oat throughout the rows. These are all full of nitrogen and other nutrients. Some rows have more crops planted than others. For example, the younger vines have the three peas mix because the younger vines need more nutrients. Where as an older vineyard might have a mustard mix.It is important to remember that vineyard maintenance does not start and end at harvest time. There are many things that need to be done in the vineyard throughout the year to ensure the vines produce quality fruit.

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