Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Bug's Life

Alan's got 2500 new "pets" roaming the vineyards. Last week on a 95-degree day, we spent an hour walking up and down the vineyard rows on Block B (one of the steepest parts of our vineyard!) dispersing tiny wasps named Anagyrus pseudococci. Each vial holds about 100 adult females that will combat the Vine Mealybug, a parasite that can be harmful to grapevines.

This fascinating little bug will multiply and contribute to a more balanced ecosystem within the vineyard - a key concept of sustainable farming. Introducing these wasps is an alternative of using insecticides, and Alan was happy that his "pets" finally arrived!

On other news, flowering has finished throughout the vineyard, and we had great berry set. The 2010 clusters look very balanced, and we have had healthy shoot growth and a full canopy due to the April and May rains. Pictured here is a cluster of our estate Syrah. What I find most interesting about this stage of development is that the skin of the green berries has chlorophyll and acts much more like leaves, photosynthesizing sunlight and gathering a small amount of energy.

Happy 4th!

Janet Viader
sales & marketing at VIADER


Anonymous said...

More haste, less speed.

April said...


Pest are a wine maker's nightmare! It is hard to grow wines and control them at the same time. Good thing there are wasp to eat those bugs up!

BTW, I wanted to ask you a question about your blog but I couldn't find a contact form. Let me know if I can email you!

April Yap
Grotto Custom Wine Cellars

Janet Viader said...

Hi April, yes of course! It's probably best you send an email to Alan, so I'll go ahead and send you his information.