Vineyard Frost Protection
Gaia Vineyard Frost Protection

At Gaia, we understand how important a vineyard frost protection system is.

Frosts can wreak havoc on tender buds when they are at their most vulnerable. In order to protect your crop, it is important to find a solution which can give you complete peace of mind that your crop is safe – “it’s not fun, growing a crop worth up to £100,000 and one night of neglect could destroy it”. With several alternatives available, it is important to choose a long-lasting and cost-effective option.

With over 30 years experience we have a solution which can protect your crop and it comes with a 20 year manufacturing warranty, for complete peace of mind. Our heated cable system effortlessly maintains warmth, and prevents frost from causing havoc – all without the need to spend thousands on oil burners and additional labour costs. Outlined is our solution in full, along with the results we’ve seen from other vineyards who have used our heating cable solution.

SOLUTIONS

We provide heating cables which wrap around the fruiting cane. The heat is conducted into the buds via the sap of the cane.

Most vineyards will be on frost alert during April and May. Our solution for protecting your crop is simple, and cost effective for years to come.

The cable is wrapped around the fruiting cane, and the heat is then conducted into the sap of the cane. Because sap is a good conductor of heat, it is able to evenly distribute this to the new growth internally; with similar cable systems used on Champagne, France.

Several years ago, Duncan Sangstar, Director of Designer Climate Solutions NZ, developed purpose built cables for frost protection trials in and around Cromwell, New Zealand.  And for the past ten years, the system has proven to be both successful and completely safe.  “The system is effective at very low temperatures compared to other forms of frost fighting, such as wind machines.” – Duncan Sangstar.

THE PRODUCTS WE USE

Gaia Frost Protection

Our cables come with a market leading 20 year manufacturer warranty, giving you complete peace of mind.

Our heating cables are high quality, 360° fully screened twin conductor cables, with a tough black PVC outer sheath; Designed for outdoor applications, and UV protected.  Simple to install, these heating cables are guaranteed to last, and are backed with a 20 year warranty for complete peace of mind.  The cables are controlled by a sophisticated thermostat which ensures heat is distributed when it is required; in order to maintain the crop at an ideal temperature.

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INSTALL AND RUNNING COSTS

Frost Protection Controls

Our cable frost protection system offers a simple and unobtrusive installation.

It can be carried out either by a team of our skilled installers, or guidance can be given if you would like to oversee your own installation. The heating cables are fixed along your existing fruiting wires, so do not require any additional products. The cables can be terminated at the end of each row or routed between rows either overhead or within a trench (by others).

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We can also tailor designs to suit your vineyard layout, allowing cables to be terminated at fixed positions. By doing so, we can ensure minimal connection points are required.

A registered electrician will be necessary to fit the thermostat and to run a supply cable for the connection to the heating elements. Depending on your location we can give recommendations on electricians who are experienced with our system.

RESULTS AND REVIEWS

CASE STUDY 1

Ridgeview VineyardThe pioneers of our frost protection system back in 2013, their application includes 5 rows operating the system which are then boarded by 2 unprotected “control” rows, the rest of their rows use bougies for frost protection. The frosts of late April of 2017 proved the merits of our system, results show that our system provided 100% protection, whereas the unprotected rows suffered a 30% drop in cluster count. These results were found at a minimum air temperature of -1.7ºC (temperature recorded within an area that had active bougies).

In addition to frost protection our cables also prevented secondary damage through leaf scorching, which can occur when using bougies.  To see it in action visit Ridgeview www.ridgeview.co.uk

CASE STUDY 2

Gaia Frost Protection

Winding Wood Vineyard were the first to adopt our system as their only form of frost protection. Being based in Berkshire, they were hit with the worse case scenario at the end of April 2017, of early shoots (an average of 3 leaves out), and 3 nights of -4.5ºC conditions. Owner Christopher Cooke describing it as the “April Armageddon”. Our system offered exceptional protection on the first 2 nights. The 3rd however was a perfect storm of hail and rain in the early evening with northerly winds, followed by –4.5°C temperatures overnight. Even so 30% of the crop was saved. Compared to other vineyards in this area, which employed no frost protection save spraying Frostec, were 100% wiped out.

Download our full guide here Vineyard Frost Protection System

Read Winding Woods story here www.windingwoodvineyard.co.uk/story

The BBC published an article in 2017 after the ‘catastrophic frost’ and the devastation it caused to a vineyard crop in Surrey affecting 75% of the buds, to read more click here .

To enquire further email vineyardfrostprotection@gaia.co.uk or call 01359 303357.