Tomorrow marks the beginning of English Wine Week, a spotlight on this exciting industry. Celebrating and promoting English wines, inspiring more people to discover English wines, to learn about wine-making, and support our vineyards. It is a fantastic opportunity for vineyards to engage with their local community and connect with industry influencers, other vineyards and retailers, by hosting an open day or a virtual vineyard tour and tasting, or posting a ‘Meet the winemaker’ blog, recipe ideas and food pairing recommendations (visit WineGB for a full list of activity ideas). If you own or manage a vineyard, you will know that one of the challenges of maintaining a vineyard is access; navigating a tractor between and along the rows of vines can be tricky. A compact or sub-compact tractor is a great investment here, with enough power to operate a variety of farm machinery that simply attach to its rear, such as mowers, rotovators and hedgecutters. Here are our best equipment picks for vineyards #EnglishWineWeek:
Mowing regularly reduces weeds and significantly improves the condition of soil to keep your vines healthy. Winton’s versatile Verge Flail Mower is a great choice for a vineyard with several blades (flails) mounted to its rotor that create nutritious mulch cuttings for the soil. Plus, it boasts an ingenious hydraulic side shift and tilt for cutting verges, low hedges and tricky grassed areas. For those extra-narrow spaces between closely planted vines, Winton’s lightweight Sub-Compact Flail Mower is a good option with a cutting width of just 85cm.
Using a rotovator or narrow rotary tiller on an annual basis, will also help to improve the condition of soil around your vines, and prepare the soil for re-planting if necessary. Both rotovators and tillers are perfect for cultivating compacted soil; they use a set of blades that twist and churn through the soil to let air, water, and nutrients to nourish the earth. Healthy and active vines will have an active root system. Vine roots require soil at the right level of moisture and with good natural drainage. A pipe layer is a useful piece of equipment for laying pipes to allow water to nourish the root system.
Often vineyards are surrounded by tall hedges for protection against strong winds. You may also consider fencing to protect your vines and saplings from rabbits and deer. With this in mind, a Flail Hedge Cutter (fitted with a fully adjustable arm for those difficult-to-reach areas) and a Hole Borer (to maintain fences) are useful for any estate owner.
Once harvested, your grapes can be swiftly transported via a Tipping Trailer or Tipping Transport Box. Designed with reliability and flexibility in mind, they both have removable sides and can therefore transport a variety of materials and farming equipment around your vineyard.
For further details on any of the equipment featured call our friendly sales team on 01420 520510 or visit farmtechsupplies.co.uk.