young vine shoots
cockatoo damage In October the vines start to grow in earnest. yellow crested white cockatoos
cockatoo damage cockatoo damage And already visitors arrive.
Yellow-crested White Cockatoos to sharpen their beaks by chewing off hundreds of young vine shoots,
vine moth caterpillars vine moth caterpillars, still tiny, to eat the tender leaves, vine moth caterpillars
and other creatures great and small to find food and shelter. bird nest bird nest with eggs
Jacky Winter feeding Jacky Winter is just one of the several species of birds breeding in the vineyard. Jacky Winter sittling on the nest
  baby Jacky Winters Rabbits multiply, too.
rabbit rabbit rabbit
  growing shoots shoot tip
flower buds

Flower buds are now clearly visible.
A promise of coming grapes!


flower buds
Now the most important sprays against fungal diseases have to be put on.
Obviously spraying is a difficult balancing act between risk of total crop loss and the destruction of the natural balance.
rain drops on grape stalk Fortunately we never have to use insecticides. Left to themselves insects seem to find their own balance with little damage done to the vines or the grapes.
flower buds flower buds

However, without fungicides we would not have any grapes for winemaking.
We tried!

Needless to say that we use the softest options available.

vine shoot

Fungicides have to be carefully alternated as resistant strains of fungi can develop quickly. Some fungicides can only be used once a year.
Copper sprays, which cause little resistance are toxic to soil life and to animals grazing the vineyard. They too have to be strictly limited.

vine leaf
vine leaves
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