Re-working the 15 year old Cabernet Sauvignon vines has become a priority. The wine is becoming increasingly popular in the cellar door and local restaurants (and the recent 95 rating from James Halliday was very welcome), but over the last 2 wetter years the presence of Eutypa (more commonly known as “dead arm disease”) has becoming increasingly evident in our old block of Cabernet vines.
Eutypa or Dead Arm Disease is seen in aging vines where the arm of the vine becomes infected with the fungus Eutpa lata which causes that arm to die. If left untreated, it will eventually kill the vine completely. The fungus is found in most vineyards and orchards, and enters the vine at pruning cuts during the winter when re-working and pruning occurs.
While researchers are studying the disease and searching for cures – currently the only option is to cut out all the infected wood and to re-train new arms before the vine dies. All infected wood should be removed from the vineyard to help reduce the fungal load and prevent re-infection of the vines.
We have been busy this winter laying down new arms in preparation for the 2013 pruning season to combat the progression of this insidious disease, and to ensure many more years of our beautiful cool climate cabernets.