Vines can easily remain active for several decades, in fact Simon, Ben and Abi visited El Escoses Volante (The Flying Scotsman) yesterday; that’s where our award winning Old Vine Garnacha grapes are grown on vines that are over 40 years old. These vines have withstood decades of storms, but at what risk?
Old Vine Garnacha are bush vines, meaning they grow low to the ground, protecting them from strong winds and storms. But most of our wineries use trellises to train grapevines, increasing their chances of being impacted by storms.
Storms like the ones we’ve had recently can cause damage to vineyards in several ways. Scientists are warning of more severe storms like Storm Eunice, which winegrowers will be faced with. Heavy wind, rain and hail can cause severe loss of quantity and quality of harvested grapes, vine survival and the long-term development of vineyards. Short-term impacts of storms can include damage to both the vines and their precious grapes. Incredibly strong storms, whether rain or hail can partly or totally stop the normal flow of nutrients within the vines. If over 50% of the growth is damaged, the development of remaining clusters can be increased by up to 20 days. At the same time, lateral shoots develop more intensively. Meaning strong storms aren’t just capable of leading to reduced yields but the grapes are of lower quality, in fact the health and quality of the affected grapevines is questionable.
That said, it really does depend on when the vineyard was hit by the storm, if a storm occurs before the grapevines have formed the next year’s buds, there is still enough time for the plant to recover by winter, but if the vines are damaged during the grape growth period the survival of the grapevine is at stake. We are currently entering the growing season, but the vines are still yet to bud meaning if storms were to occur at any of our wineries the impact would be less severe.
All stages of the calendar demand strong knowledge of grapes and good vineyard management, but this is especially true after storm damage. We work with some of Europe’s top wine producers and we trust them with the production of high quality wine and they trust us with sharing their wine with you, wherever you drink our wine.