Cultural management methods

Site selection

Well drained sites with day long sun exposure and good air circulation are less prone to downy mildew.

Varietal sensitivity

Varieties with thick leaves and large juice berries are more susceptible than those with thin or hairy leaves.

Canopy management

Practices that promote open canopies with high levels of light penetration and air circulation reduces humidity in the canopy and promote more rapid drying after a rain event and better spray penetration.

  • Low vigour rootstock
  • shoot positioning and divided canopies
  • Low planting density
  • trimming and leaf plucking
  • avoid low canopy base
  • removal of water shoots

Removal of inoculum

Removal or burying by cultivation of leaf litter containing overwintering oospores. Removal and burning of prunings. Source vine from certificated supplier avoid introducing inoculum.

Rogueing

Removal of infected leaves with oils pots. Possible in well managed vineyards with careful monitoring. Must be carried out before secondary infection conditions arise.

Soil management

Promote good soil drainage with additions of organic matter. Avoid working on very wet ground leading to soil compaction and the risk of puddles forming.

Under vine management

Effective weed control and cover crop management prevents vegetation growing up into the canopy base and promotes better air movement.

Irrigation

Avoid irrigation at night.