This week, Rioja was covered in a blanket of snow, including many vineyards. How does snow help the vines?
The vegetative state of the plant means the vine´s bark can offer shelter to insects and fungi. The combination of cold and snow helps to eliminate them so that when the plant begins to bud again it´s in a perfect state of health.
What are the main benefits of these snowfalls?
Hydrological: snow falls gradually and melts gradually, which means the ground slowly absorbs all the moisture and can use it more effectively;
Cleansing: snow and ice kills insects and fungi and the plant is cleansed;
Healing: during the pruning stage, the scarring left on the plant can be an entry point for disease, but low temperatures and snow help to create a layer of scar tissue on the plant which prevents disease getting in.
So, fingers crossed the old saying comes true: ¨Year of snows, year of plenty.¨