Saturday, 8 December 2018

8.12.18 Innovative Vineyard Experiments at Fundador

For the last couple of years Bodegas Fundador have been carrying out some innovative practices in the vineyards which will not only benefit them but also viticulture in Jerez in general. According to the firm these practices are based on the reducton of environmental impact of viticulture by reducing the need for herbicides using two ways of controlling weeds. These involve the planting of certain grasses and pulses which compete with the most damaging weeds. In spring they are ground up and the remains are mulched into the soil. The total area of the experiment is 20 hectares of Fundador vineyard in the pago Macharnudo. Another advantage of this is improvement in the texture of the soil, reducing erosion and contributing to increased diversity of beneficial insects. At the same time these practices will allow for experimentation with various quality wines and selected grape varieties as well as other fresh raw materials derived from grapes. 

Grasses and pulses growing between vine rows (foto:diariodejerez)

Separately, Fundador is working on what they call “rejuvenation and revitalisation of the vineyard”. Starting with a parcel of vines of medium age where the vines have begun to lean and have lost their shape, they are cutting them off above the graft which results in the formation of an exceptionally vigorous new bud which will effectively form a new vine. They then install trellising with galvanised wires at a higher level, and the vines reconstitute themselves completely in a couple of years.This experiment is being carried out in another two parcels of one hectare each in the Macharnudo. Further objectives are to increase grape production, increase the efficiency of mechanisation and extend the life of the vines. Another notable experiment is aimed at future plantings and involves the multiplication of 10 virus free clones of Palomino. The overall aim is to achieve healthy disease resistant plants with good yields and high sugar levels.

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