Apu- Peru's "Northern Hemisphere" Vineyard
Updated: May 18, 2019
Apu Winery follows the schedule of the Northern Hemisphere, which means we prune in January and harvest in October. With the exception of some wine producers in Serra da Mantiqueira in Brazil, vineyards in South America use the opposite timetable, pruning in July and harvesting in March. In this blog post, we would like to detail this adapted pruning schedule.
Why? The necessity to follow the schedule of the Northern Hemisphere arose when we lost a vast percentage of our plants due to a fungus in 2014. After mourning the loss of our livelihood, we replanted the entire vineyard a few months later. However, we knew we needed a solution to prevent the same devastation in the future. Fernando discovered that the solution lay in pruning during the intense rainy season (November to April). When the plants are bare after pruning, mold and mildew can't attack them as easily.
How? We believe the uniqueness of our location allowed us to achieve this truly incredible feat. Because of its proximity to the jungle (5 miles/8 kilometers), Curahuasi has mild and sunny winters. This temperate climate allows us to manipulate the growth cycle of plants.
When? The plants rest for 120 days after harvest. After resting, Fernando starts their growth cycle by pruning in January, “training” the plants to adapt to the new schedule. The warm temperatures, sunshine and rainfall during the winter provide perfect conditions to allow the grapes to bloom.
Our vines need human intervention so they know to follow the schedule of the Northern Hemisphere. During a recent walk through our recently-planted Malbec vines, we came across several new plants with robust grapes, something we normally wouldn't see in January:
These newcomers came from a nursery in the Southern Hemisphere, so they are producing fruit at this time of year. However, these grapes won’t be harvested in March, like other vineyards in Peru. We will soon prune them so they know to adapt to the new schedule.
Do you know of any more vineyards that follow the schedule of the opposite hemisphere? Please write us to let us know!