Wednesday, February 8, 2012


The cold, heavy frosts and polar winds have hit La Rioja these days, can cause significant damage to some plants. For example, citrus and all plants from tropical and subtropical climates are very sensitive to cold. In the case of the vines, depends of the season when the frost is suffered, to be a serios problem with no solution, or to be something quite beneficial.

It is said that there is a frost when the temperature (measured one meter above the ground) is under C, although for our winegrower standpoint, frost is the situation where the air temperature is down to a value (up or down than C) that kills or causes serious damages to the vines or branches.
Frosts often occur during the winter season, although in our Rioja Alta area can also occur in autumn (called early frost) and spring (late frost).
These frosts, the later ones, are the most dangerous for the vines, because the plants are out the resting stage, they are maturing and the very down temperatures may affect plant growth and vital functions, such as flowering or grapes ripening.


                                            (Snowy vineyard in SANTALBA)

On the other hand, the winter frosts as we have suffered these past few days cause a great beneficial effect for disinfection subsoil, for bacteria removal and even for the elimination of microorganisms accumulated during previous warm stages.

Furthermore, the snow  accumulation over the vineyard soil is a very gradual water supply (if the thaw is gradual and not sudden) and very important for the rest of the year.


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