Definition - What does Erosion mean?
In vineyard management, it is especially important to be aware of erosion on the land where the vines grow. Soil erosion, water run -off and ground cover for rain showers and wind are all erosion concerns that must be addressed in order to reduce yield loss.
There are many different types of erosion and practices that can help erosion from becoming a huge problem for wine makers.
WineFrog explains Erosion
It is best to first diagnose which type of erosion the vineyard is most susceptible to. The types of erosion include rainfall and wind exposure, the nature of the soil, the slope characteristics (both length and degree of steepness), the breed of the grapevine and the modes of vineyard/crop management.
Some ways to prevent erosion in vineyards is to determine which type of erosion is the most problematic. For water runoff, it is necessary to divert water from the vineyard by planting the rows in ways that situate efficient water flow. Pruning the canopy can also prevent excessive rainfall or strong winds from reaching the soil.
Reducing the amount of tillage by planting cover crops in the offseason and utilizing mulch to prevent soil removal helps keep the rows ready for new growth. Drainage systems, sandbagging, regrading surrounding roadways can help keep the soil inside the vineyard, which saves money and stops water from removing precious sediment.
Erosion left untreated can cause all types of problems for viticulturists and their grapevines. Water exposure can remove soil and sediment from needed places, expose the plants to contaminants, and disrupt growth patterns (allowing grass and weeds to grow near the vines). The vineyard manager should come up with a plan before planting crops to help prevent erosion and address any impending erosive conditions.