Dry pruning began on March 10 and ended on March 26. As always, the vines were long pruned to two buds late in anticipation of frost. However, in early April there was a sharp drop in temperatures that burned the first leaves. For successive campaigns, we will probably consider pruning to three or four buds to ensure those closest to the arm, which are the ones of interest to us for production.
The formation of the strain is consolidating itself. The severe pruning carried out in 2017 is producing results. Elbows, desiccation cones, and aged wood, were removed. Now, the vineyard is showing the benefits in a remarkable manner.
Spontaneous vegetation began to grow abundantly early in the spring.
Covid-19 was relentless, shaping all human activity. Isolation and uncertainty about the immediate future prevailed.
This year, we subdivided the various lots with a fence. This was done to better manage the herd of sheep and to ensure that it can stay longer doing its work of adding natural fertiliser to the soil and controlling vegetation cover. Previously, the herd was introduced in the autumn, from leaf fall until mid-February, when food is scarce.
In Alto de Inazares, we are seeking balance in the pressure exerted by livestock and vegetation cover on the development of the vineyard, subjecting it to controlled stress. In return, the management of safety nets becomes even more complex. The opening and closing of nets must allow the plant to grow, staff to work on the plant cover and the passage of the cattle, provide protection against hail and incursions by birds, and tillage passes and treatment with sulphur.
Budbreak came around 15 days late this spring compared with the previous seven years. Green pruning was one of the most laborious tasks with a view to balanced ripening.
As at May 6, 2019, buds were still no more than a few centimetres in diameter.
In mid-April, the earliest varieties (Chardonnay and Gewürztraminer) showed signs of the unfolding of leaves. Leaves on the Pinot Noir and Syrah vines began to unfold on May 22.
The whole vineyard was thinned in mid-May. A preventive treatment against powdery mildew and mildew was attempted. However, this was in vain due to rain and low temperatures, reducing its effectiveness.
The spontaneous vegetation was lush.
Livestock management using the new method was too tedious, and we decided to postpone this type of prolonged action until a less aggressive breed of sheep could be found. Our goal is to introduce the Ouessant dwarf sheep.
In the third week of May, the rows were manually dug to remove vegetation and cut short surface roots.
The hens made a feast of it.
Unlike other wine-growing areas in mainland Spain, the diseases seen in this area were not intense. Its effects were not noticed to an excessive extent, despite the abundance of spring rain and the intensive growth of the vineyard. Several mowing passes were made to control the height and, with a few treatments of powdered sulphur, the situation was brought under control. On the contrary: in general, this year diseases posed a problem for the sector. Mildew growth was excessive, threatening crops and resulting in the need for harsh treatments.