At Johner Estate we are proud of our Herbicide Free status as we know, in this day and age, it is always preferable to reduce or eliminate harsh chemical usage in any situation, especially large scale usage on farm, orchards and vineyards. This is another example of our hands on approach to vineyard management allowing us closer monitoring of the vines whilst manually dealing with weeds. Yes manually! Above is a photo of Sandra grubbing out weeds amongst the young pinot noir vines with a specially designed and rather scary looking hoe. Of course the whole vineyard is far too large to always weed by hand and the older vine rows are treated to tractor powered under vine weeding, rotary harrowing and cultivating. This approach has the combined benefit of dealing with the weeds, crushing them and ripping them out whilst also reducing the root run of the vines. Next time you visit Johner Estate I would recommend taking a closer look at the vineyard itself and please do ask questions of the tasting room staff as they will be happy to help.
The vineyard is alive with the beautiful soft green glow of fresh new growth! It’s the perfect time of year to instigate our vine replanting program replacing any vines throughout the vineyard that have succumbed over the last season. Sandra, Steven and the team are very busy planting approximately 1700 new grafted Pinot Noir clones which arrived just last week from our suppliers, having been cool stored and then soaked to bring them out of winter hibernation. Johner Estate is densely planted, this being one of our signatures of quality, ensuring vines strive to reach the high flavour concentrations Karl Johner desires. The procedure with new planting is as follows. Firstly Steven and Moritz mark the location of new vines (with flourescent orange spray paint!), Dale uses a digger to create the holes, Robert improves the holes by hand and Sandra, Christin and Friderike follow planting the vines tenderly amongst soil (rocks are removed). The new vines are staked, secured and enclosed with a plastic vine guard creating a protected moist environment in which they will thrive. Steven is regularly watering the new vines to help them establish in what is proving to be a glorious warm spring.