Liz Riley is a leading viticulture consultant in the Hunter Valley and she heads her own consultancy company. Liz attended one of our four day courses last year and she proved a wealth of intelligent queries and well reasoned opinions that we have come to expect from recipients of Nufield scholarships. An NTS Agronomist has since travelled to the Hunter to visit some of the vineyards that have begun to work with biological principles.
There have been some great results with the precision nutrition associated with prescription blends but Liz has been particularly impressed with the performance of Vine-Tech Triple Ten™. This product is based upon our popular Triple Ten™ formula, but we were required to remove the liquid fish component from the original formulation to satisfy some of the South Australian winemakers that were mistakenly concerned about the safety of any input from an animal base. This concern has since dissipated but the Vine-Tech Triple Ten™ alternative proved a real success story so it remained part of the NTS range.
The Canopy Conditioner
The 2010-11 growing season was a difficult one to say the least but Liz believes that Vine-Tech Triple Ten™ “played a major role in getting the crop over the line by maintaining active canopy condition”. She feels that improving and sustaining the longevity of an active canopy without stimulating vegetative vigor is the key to managing fruit quality in super premium vineyards in the Hunter Valley. She reports an obvious visible improvement associated with each application of Vine-Tech Triple Ten™ which included a change of colour and sustained canopy condition.
The removal of the liquid fish component in the Vine-Tech Triple Ten™ formula and the associated reduction in natural nitrogen in the product, appears to reduce support for late season berry sizing which is not desirable when working with super premium quality. Liz explains that “large berries reduce the skin to pulp ratio and therefore reduced phenolic extraction (particularly in red varieties)”. From a human health perspective, there is a similar concern. The skins of red grapes contain resveratrol, a potent, heart protective, anti oxidant. The larger the berry, the lower the resveratrol per 100 grams of grapes because of this reduced skin to pulp ratio.
What Works in Vine-Tech Triple Ten™
Vine-Tech Triple Ten™ contains a unique hot mix NPK involving nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium (each at 10%) blended together in forms that are actually incompatible. This chemical incompatibility produces an extreme heating response that persists for up to two days, but when the mixture cools a new, high performance, pH neutral compound is formed. This NPK liquid is specifically designed for foliar application.
A full range of trace minerals, chelated with the proprietary Shuttle® Mineral Delivery System are included with the Hot Mix NPK and this represents the first half of this complex formulation. The second half of the Vine-Tech Triple Ten™ formula involves a suite of biological inputs including liquid vermicast, vitamins B, C & E, saponins, fulvic acid, kelp and triacontanol. The flagship NTS Triple Ten™ range has proven to be spectacularly successful over the past ten years in over forty countries.