105: Grapevine Shaking for Botrytis Control

In 2008 the oversupply of Sauvignon Blanc coupled with the financial crisis lead to trialing shaking to remove berries in New Zealand for the very first time. A few years later, the New Zealand Winegrowers Society funded a three-year grant to test the impacts of shaking on dropping fruit, wine quality, and botrytis. Mark Allen of Allen Vineyard Advisory explains that because shaking the vine four to six weeks after fruit set does cause some damage to the canopy and berries, pathologists assumed that the shaken vines would have a higher incidence of botrytis. They were surprised that they did not. In fact, the botrytis levels were markedly less in the shaken vines than the control. Trials have found that shaking reduces botrytis at harvest by at least 50 percent plus the cost is significantly less than dropping fruit. With increased resistance to chemical controls, good wine quality, and cost efficiency, shaking shows a lot of promise.


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