GRAPE - A LABOUR-INTENSIVE CROP
Viticulture is one of the most labour-intensive crops, especially on steep slopes. The work begins in January to March, with grapevine pruning. This old wood from the previous year is removed and the fruit rods in the vine plants are determined. The number and length of the fruit rods have a decisive influence on the yield and also on the quality of the wine. The grapevine pruning is still carried out by hand today. From February to April repair work on the wire frame takes place. From March/April, the cut-back vines are bent over wires and tied to them, thus achieving a uniform distribution and stable shape of the shoots. By August, side shoots are removed and the tall vines are attached to the wire frame (this step is called "stapling"). There are also works such as leaf trimming, cutting and thinning. From April, the soil is loosened mechanically; In addition, cover crops are sown. Both serve to stimulate natural soil life. Missing nutrients are supplied in the form of fertilizer. From around the beginning of May (budding of the grapevines) to August, protective measures against pests and fungal diseases are carried out. Fungicides are frequently used 4-7 times. The start of the harvest depends in particular on the grape variety, the location and the degree of ripeness of the grapes. Mostly the grape harvest starts in the middle/end of September and can last until the middle/end of November. The grape harvest is traditionally done by harvest workers by hand, or more often by machine, with harvesters. The soil, heavily compacted by the grape harvest, is loosened up by ploughing.