The vineyard’s vegetative cycle starts at the end of March/start of April. The plant, in our case the grapevine, wakes up from its long winter slumber and begins to sprout.
At first, it does this tentatively, showing us its small and tender buds. But very quickly, ever -warmer temperatures and heavier rain accelerate the growth of the vine.
This year, the buds appeared some 10 days earlier than the average for recent years.
In the Penedès, and in almost all of Catalonia, we had one of the wettest Aprils in the last 100 years. The 4 weather stations that we observe also show us that in April, rainfall totalled:
- 128 l/m2 in La Bisbal del Penedès, La Torreta estate
- 175 l/m2 in La Llacuna, Les Valls-Les Torres estate
- 136 l/m2 in Sant Martí Sarroca, Els Pujols estate
- 148 l/m2 in Font-Rubí, Cal Miret estate
During the vegetative cycle in 2016, one of the driest in recent years, accumulated rainfall during the period of April-September totalled 203 l/m2 in La Bisbal del Penedès, 246 in La Llacuna, 188 in Sant Martí and 216 in Font-Rubí. In 2020, within just a month and a half, we have already reached almost the same quantity.
Rainfall in the vineyard is essential for well-balanced vines. At Parés Baltà, we do not water our vineyards, so the vines have to collect water reserves for the increasingly hot Mediterranean summers. Only with a balanced amount of rain can the vines reach harvest in August and September and give us a healthy and balanced fruit.
But too much rain in spring is problematic. Excess water can lead to diseases like mildew, attracted by the humidity of the plant. Mildew is a fungus which damages the fruit, drastically reducing its yield.
It’s in these risky circumstances that the wine-grower has to intervene preventatively. Because of this, at Parés Baltà, after these heavy rains, we start to apply a biodynamic preparation of common horsetail and nettle, two great antifungals that help us to combat mildew.
Moreover, to relieve the vine from the damage it received in the hailstorm last Saturday in Els Pujols estate, we will use the biodynamic preparation 501, arnica and valerian. BP501 will help to heal the wounds and the arnica and valerian will help to soothe the plant.