In an attempt to reduce the pH of juice and wine, different fertiliser applications and canopy management practices were evaluated in South Africa in a field trial. Fertiliser treatments entailed no, CaSO4, Ca(OH)2, and MgSO4 fertilisation. Canopy management was as follows: suckering (leaving only two shoots per bearer), tipping, vertical shoot positioning and removal of lateral shoots and yellow leaves in the bunch zone (Canopy 1); suckering (leaving three shoots per bearer), vertical shoot positioning as well as topping (Canopy 2); vertical shoot positioning and topping (Canopy 3). The field trial was conducted in the Paardeberg region on the farms Meerlus and Kersfontein. The vineyard at Meerlus was Cabernet franc/R99 with a high canopy density and a good root distribution, established on a sandy loam soil of granite origin, with a low subsoil pH and a high K content. The vineyard at Kersfontein was Cabernet Sauvignon/101-14 Mgt with a lower canopy density and a less extensive root distribution, also established on a sandy loam soil of granite origin, but with a low top- and subsoil pH and an excessively high K content.
Authors: G.P. Engelbrecht (1) and D. Saayman (2)
(1) Agricultural Consultors International CC, 1 Techno Village, Meson Street, Technopark, 7600 Stellenbosch, Republic of South Africa
(2) Distell, Papegaaiberg, P.O. Box 778, 7599 Stellenbosch, Republic of South Africa