The positive effects of Ozone
Since last year vineyard manager Marco and his team have been experimenting with how ozone might positively influence budding.
Ozone, also known as trioxygen, is a natural inorganic molecule first created by accident in 1785 and essentially a pale blue gas with a distinctively pungent smell reminiscent of chlorine. Easy to manufacture it is, however, very short-lived with a half-life of approximately one day at room temperature and so cannot be stored or transported like other gases and must therefore be produced on site and does not remain in the water after treatment.
Used in countless applications, it is essentially among the most powerful oxidizing agents known and we are therefore using it in miniscule amounts to – for example – minimize bacterial growth, control parasites, and eliminate the transmission of certain diseases – in other words as a disinfectant.
So effective did our trials prove in the limited sphere of a handful of test parcels – nascent fungoidal problems such as oidium and mildew not to mention certain types of unwelcome bacteria simply ended up being washed away – that we took the decision to spray the foliage of these plots with a weak solution throughout the year, every 15 or 20 days; and now in 2019 – during the current vegetative cycle – took the decision to extend this practice further. “Our vines are now somehow more alive, happier; and even better is the fact that our soils now have a better capacity to assimilate natural nutrients”, explains Marco.
No way are we saying that ozone is somehow a magic bullet. It’s just another resource and approach, and we of course continue – as ever – with the trusted and effective natural aromatic plant-based infusions inherited from our forebears.
As mentioned in our previous bulletin, one of the deadliest afflictions that can plague vines is Tinder – also known as Apoplexy Parasite. This is affecting ever more of Spain and so we hope that our recently proven ozone treatments will also be helpful here: not as a cure but as a pre-emptive measure; and we intend therefore to slice open the trunks of inflicted vines and see what effect the treatment may have here.
As a postscript, and just so that you know that we’re not standing still, in the interests of getting even further to grips with our soils – not least so that we can be ready for the advent of Spring – we’re also majorly embroiled in a full on metagenomic study.
This – Metagenomics – for the unenlightened – is the study of the structure and function of nucleotide sequences isolated directly from an environmental sample, especially of a community of microorganisms and a powerful lens for viewing the microbial world, allowing – thanks to the falling price of DNA sequencing – investigation at a much greater scale and in ever more detail than ever before.
The more we know the better we will be able to cope!