One of the things that has been so amazing for us as a new winery, in an emerging region, has been the interest and excitement from our neighbours and colleagues. What’s sparked the greatest interest? Our use of geothermal blankets in our vineyard! Although this innovation is new in Ontario, it has been a common practice in Quebec for many years. Many people were initially unsure how effective this practice could be in Ontario, but we were optimistic!
Our first trial with blankets was a joint collaboration with Brock University, where we monitored temperatures underneath the blankets, compared to the ambient temps outside the blankets – and the difference was amazing! Our vines nestled under the blankets boasted warmer temperatures of 5-8° on average.
But those weren’t the only results we recorded! The geothermal blankets resulted in minimal bud damage because we didn’t have to use equipment to unbury the soil from around the plant. The blankets also allow us the flexibility to let the plants grow and then cover them again, if need be, overnight to protect them from frost in the spring.
Check out our photo (top) to see the difference for yourself! (The top right is buried and the bottom right is blanketed)
Due to our success, many colleagues and neighbours have shown great interest in using blankets for their vines. We’re excited and eager to share this new technology and have been showing off our results!