Definition - What does Vine Disease mean?
One of the biggest challenges a winemaker must take into consideration is vine disease. Vineyards are susceptible to many different diseases with varying degrees of severity. Some of these diseases affect only parts of the vine or crop and others can kill the entire vineyard. This makes it important to keep the vineyard as healthy as possible and plan for interventions as needed. When it comes to many diseases, the only treatment is prevention.
WineFrog explains Vine Disease
There are a couple of major diseases that are most common in vineyard management. The first are mildews (specifically powdery mildew) which is a fungal disease that infects the clusters and canopy and spreads during high humidity and moderate temperatures. To prevent this, fungicide with sulfur can be applied to the crops but a leaf test must be performed to ensure that the product is reaching all parts of the vine.
The second category of diseases are rot diseases (specifically bunch rot), these present themselves at the end of the season when temperatures are warm and grapes are ripe. Bunch rot is also a fungus and bacteria that can be treated with fungicide and by pruning the canopy so that all parts of the vine are exposed to sunlight, preventing humid conditions.
These are like the common cold for grapevines, and preventative measures should be taken on a yearly basis. This involves pruning the canopy and removing all clusters in between seasons. Use fungicides sparingly, as these diseases can never be completely eradicated but controlled to a manageable, unnoticeable level. Other vine diseases include:
- Black knot
- Petri disease
- Trunk Rot
- Black rot
- Black measles
- Botrytis cinerea
- Pierce's disease