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November 26, 2005

A blast of fresh air

wind damage 27 11 05 007.jpg


With the exception of the young leaf at top left, all of the other leaves on this previously vigorous cane have been torn or ripped off. If no new shoots grow here, with new leaves, the ability of this branch of the vine to phosynthesise the light and energise grape development will be severely curtailed.

In this stormy corner of the Cape, we have summer winds that blow mostly from the south-east and south-west.
Sometimes the wind comes in from the east (or south-east-east-east) and these create the most damage here at Stormhoek.
Depending on the stage of growth of the vine, the 50 mile an hour east wind can break off the growing stems, rip up leaves, tear away flower petals.
Last week we had a blast from the east and exposed sections of the vineyards have had their highest growing canes stripped of leaves.
Fortunately we are still in November and harvest is still 3 months away.
The vines have deep roots, there is a lot of water in the soil and new shoots will grow to power the development of the vine and its crop. If we get more of this wind in January and February it might be more serious.

Posted by graham knox at November 26, 2005 11:01 AM

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