I finally finished my first round of stuffing shoots. It is a task akin to painting the Forth Bridge. Just when I think I have crammed the last wayward shoot into the trellising wires I have to return to the vines where I started and begin the process all over again until they are big enough to behave themselves. Teenagers!!!
I did however manage to set some time aside to perform another important spring operation in the vineyard: gathering petiole samples for analysis of nutrient content in the plant tissue. Analysing the presence of absorbed nutrients is a good way to see how healthy your vineyard really is. Or not.
There is conflicting opinion as to whether the leaf blade is a better indicator of nutrient content versus the petiole. UC Davis has advocated for years that the testing of petiole samples is the most accurate measurement of the vines uptake of nutrients. Now there is a school of thought that believes that testing the blade is a more accurate indicator. It actually makes sense to me, after all, the petiole is merely a channel by which the nutrients are delivered to the business end of the vine. The leaf is a little food factory which, when aided by sunlight, converts the nutrients deposited there into something the winemaker can use: all that sugary goodness that eventually becomes alcohol.
Having said that, I dutifully performed my petiole sampling of the Cabernet sauvignon and Syrah vines and sent the tissue to Dellavalle Laboratory Inc. Maybe next time I will try a blade sample.
Now I just have to wait for the results to see what my poor little vines are craving in the way of nutrients.