A Summer in the Field

Silvio reached up and pulled down a curled up leaf from one of his vines. He unfurled the leaf to reveal the larva of a leafroller (Platynota  stultana). Pests like this, he explained, could do serious damage to a vineyard. He named off the various fungal diseases he regularly has to combat as the grape growing season progresses. Winegrowing was starting to seem more like chemical warfare than some bucolic agricultural activity. Walking through the steep vineyards of Donnas on a warm June day, I learned a great deal about vineyard management, changing traditions, and one man’s reality as he worked amongst the vines—all things that are difficult to learn from only reading books …

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