Report Synopsis

Frost protection and post frost care in cool climate viticulture.

Currently researching for Scholarship

The UK’s vinicultural industry is still small (2888 hectares under vine,) but is growing rapidly (hectarage tripled since the year 2000). With this growth vineyards are popping up everywhere, some are more vulnerable to frost than others. I would like to research different methods of frost protection adopted worldwide with a hope of implementing better practices in the UK. 

Frost is not a new problem in cool climate agriculture. My experience on my own vineyard shows me that we are seeing warmer temperatures earlier in the season which results in earlier bud burst.  This should therefore allow a longer growing season. The downside is that we are increasingly vulnerable to late spring frosts. Radiation frosts are dealt with using an array of different fans, vineyard candles and gas heat blowers; all of which seem costly with no guarantee of working.

I am experiencing increased danger from advection frost, freezing winds travelling from Siberia burning the vulnerable shoots.  My project is to try and find a new, cost effective solution to protect against radiation frost but mainly advection frost. I also want to find out what the best care to a vineyard is after a frost event to be able to mitigate cost to a vineyard with low yields