29 May 2008

Warwick Plants Worlds Most Advanced Pinotage Vineyard

Warwick Estate’s Cape Blend, Three Cape Ladies, accounts for a third of the estate’s sales.

That means, Mike Ratcliffe (pictured left in Warwick's 40 year old bush wine Pinotage vineyard) tells me, that Warwick are planting another 6 hectares of Pinotage in what will be “the world’s most advanced Pinotage vineyard.”

They’re planting at a density of 7,000 vines per hectare. “We’re taking vigour control to new heights", says Mike. “We need to get Pinotage to stop over producing and we’re doing it by natural competition. Vines will be competing against each other and cover crops. We’re aiming for 10 tons per hectare, which we think is optimal but goes against current thinking.”

Warwick uses high altitude photographs from satellites to monitor each vine, pressure tests on leaves to check on water take-up and the new vineyard will link these tools to a computer controlled drip irrigation system.

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