Good Fruit Grower

December 2013

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A view from the south shore of Lake Okanagan in British Columbia, Canada B.C. growers should FOCUS ON CLONES British Columbia vs. California conditions Sonoma Coast, CA Sebastopol, CA 2000 Naramata, BC 1200 Kelowna Mission, BC 800 1000 400 0 Grape gowers need to find out which clones will work best in British Columbia. 1600 Degree-days Celsius 3000 4/1 4/15 4/29 5/13 5/27 6/10 6/24 7/8 7/22 8/5 8/19 9/2 9/16 9/30 10/14 10/28 Degree-days Fahrenheit Degree-day accumulation in 2011 in the coastal California and British Columbia grape growing regions. 0 by Peter Mitham ritish Columbia growers may have the basic information about soil and climate when it comes to developing vineyards, but greater attention is needed to matching varieties with location, and then finding the specific clones of the variety that will perform best, according to a noted specialist in soil science and plant nutrition. B Blossom Protect™ Always use with Buffer Protect™ to optimize the efficacy of Blossom Protect™. "I think they have to figure out the varieties. They don't have any information about clones," said Dr. Daniel Roberts, principal of Integrated Winegrowing LLC in Sebastopol, California. Roberts, who is planting his 125th vineyard this year, spoke to growers attending the annual B.C. Wine Grape Council meeting in Penticton this summer on the topic Using Climate and Soil Data in Vineyard Development. Roberts discussed soil and climate factors that are critical in vineyard development. Soils in British Columbia's Okanagan Valley are very different than anything he deals with in California, but the soil basics are still the same, Roberts said in an interview following his presentation. "Do I have good drainage? Do I have any nematode issues? Do I have any toxicity? We look for the same thing." The dominant cation of Okanagan soils is calcium, which Roberts said gives the soils a unique profile on par with the limestone soils around Paso Robles and King City along California's Central Coast, one of the state's fastest-growing wine regions. The Okanagan soils are glacial till, but some of the rocks from further north in British Columbia are limestone, so they have high calcium and their cation exchange is very high, Roberts said. Key climate factors to bear in mind include frost and the potential for winter kill, degree-day accumulation, diurnal temperature change from veraison through harvest, and wind. Roberts said he talked to B.C. growers about wind and what to watch out for. "I showed them their rainfall patterns, and ours. I showed them their growing degreedays versus ours." His conclusion? "Kelowna has a climate very similar to my best Pinot Noir vineyard on the Sonoma Coast. So, for me, that said you guys can grow world-class Pinot [Noir] and Pinot Gris and Riesling," he said. He feels Chardonnay—the variety that catapulted Kelowna's Mission Hill Family Estate and the entire Okanagan to prominence in 1994—is a contender for vineyards throughout the valley, even more so than Pinot Noir. Cabernet Sauvignon ® 40 DECEMBER 2013 GOOD FRUIT GROWER A weak spot, however, is Cabernet Sauvignon. He thought that in the southern Okanagan Valley, they didn't get enough heat to ripen Cabernet. "They barely got 2,800 degree-days in a warm year; that's just barely getting Cabernet ripe," Roberts said. But the range of climatic variation from north to south within the long, narrow Okanagan Valley leads to

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