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Grape wine is a drink that has not lost its popularity for hundreds of years. Often, the owners of the plots planted vineyards for one purpose - to make hop wine. The cultivation of Malbec grapes by winemakers has long become a good tradition, because it is this technical variety that has become famous for its taste and aroma, which are transmitted to the intoxicated drink.
The homeland of the Malbec grapes is sunny France. There, this variety is very popular even in the presence of more productive species. Thanks to positive reviews from French gardeners and winemakers, the culture quickly spread throughout Europe.
The appearance of the hybrid is due to two equally popular varieties - Gaillac, Montpellier. Today, Argentina is the leader in the cultivation of Malbec - since the 19th century, huge plantations of grapes have been planted there.
Pros and cons of the variety
Before growing Malbec grapes, it is recommended to understand the advantages and disadvantages of the variety. The benefits include:
- taste qualities;
- juiciness of fruits;
- persistent aroma;
- stable fruiting;
- active growth and development.
Of the shortcomings, a weak frost resistance is noted. Even a warm shelter is often not enough to save plants from dying in severe frosts.
Caloric content and acidity of fruits
Due to the increased sugar content, the acidity of Malbec berries is low - within 2.9-3.2 g / l.
The calorie content of the fruit is about 70 kcal.
The appearance of the grapes is no different from the parameters of the extensive grape family, although there are several characteristics that are best studied in advance.
Malbec bushes are vigorous, have long, powerful whips that can support the weight of large clusters. With proper care, timely feeding, the shoots of the plant give an annual growth of 15-25 cm.
Malbec leaves are medium-sized, five-toed, funnel-shaped. There is a small fluff on the lower part. The shade is light green, with bushes growing in the shade, a darker color.
The fruit of the grapes is dark ink. The clusters are medium in size, dense, cylindrical in shape. The mass of one berry reaches 4 g. The weight of the brush is within 500-700 g.
Before you start growing a hybrid, it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with the main characteristics. The qualities of the variety will make it possible to decide whether to give preference to this type.
One of the disadvantages of Malbec grapes is poor tolerance to low temperatures. Already at 20 degrees, the bushes can die. A cover is recommended in cooler regions.
Immunity to diseases and pests
Another disadvantage of the grape variety is the frequent damage from diseases and pests. Among the diseases that develop on plants are mildew, anthracnose, gray rot. Preventive treatments are the only way to prevent injury.
Of the pests, the leafworm often settles on the bushes, against which it is recommended to use chemical preparations.
Transportation and long-term storage of Malbec fruits is not recommended - due to the juiciness of the fruits and the looseness of the bunches, the marketable type of grapes quickly deteriorates. It is better to use the berries for processing immediately after harvest.
The flowers of Malbec grapes often crumble, which makes it impossible to accurately determine the amount of the harvest. In favorable climatic conditions, it will be possible to collect up to 150 centners per hectare, but often the yield is much lower - in the range of 40-60 centners.
For propagation of Malbec grapes, cuttings are used, although many gardeners use cuttings. It is recommended to stock up on cuttings in the spring or during the summer. To carry out reproduction by layering in the warm season.
Cultivation and agricultural technology
There will be no particular difficulties with cultivation even with a minimum of knowledge of agricultural technology. The main thing is to carry out the correct planting, regularly watering, applying nutrients, pruning.
Landing dates and schemes
For Malbec grapes, it is recommended to choose a spring planting. During the season, the bush will have time to give additional roots, which will make it easy to endure wintering.
It is recommended to plant bushes at a distance of 2.5-3 m. Leave up to 2 m between the rows, this will allow the plants to fully develop.
Seasonal care is simple - apply top dressing in the spring, carry out regular watering in the summer, loosening the soil, and fight pests. In the fall, you should take care of a winter shelter.
Regularity of watering
Watering the bushes regularly, at least once a week, in extreme heat, increase the amount of soil irrigation. One adult plant will need up to 15 liters of water. Be sure to make sure that the liquid is infused in the sun.
To fertilize plants, use full-fledged mineral compositions. It is recommended to buy fertilizer from specialized stores. Organic matter is introduced only in spring - compost or humus is mixed with the top layer of soil.
Carry out pruning in the fall, remove dry, damaged lashes. The process is recommended to be done shortly before the winter shelter. In the spring, be sure to check the condition of the lashes, if necessary, remove frozen or broken vines.
Garter to the posts
It is recommended to start tying Malbec grapes to the supports immediately after planting, this will form a beautiful bush. You need to take into account the growth rate of the plant, during the season you will have to repeat the process several times.
Preventive treatments should be carried out at least three times per season. Timely irrigation of leaves with chemicals will prevent the occupation of grapes by pests and the spread of infectious diseases.
Do I need to shelter for the winter
Winter shelter is a must, even in warm regions it is better not to risk plants. Use spruce branches, straw mats, special textiles.
Ripening and harvesting period
It takes about 5 months from budding to the first wave of fruit ripening. They will have to harvest in early September, although in warm regions the berries ripen a little earlier.
The use of berries in winemaking
For winemaking, Malbec is usually used in France, but Argentina is not inferior in the amount of hop products. Usually, dense tannin wines are made on the basis of the variety, but in France winemakers have learned to add aromatic fruits to sparkling drinks. Blends with the addition of Malbec juice are especially popular among gourmets around the world.
Interestingly, the most expensive are wines, the raw materials for which were grown at an altitude of more than a kilometer above world level.
Malbec grapes are an excellent solution if you want to grow a crop for industrial purposes. Juicy, rich in nutrients, good yield, undemanding care - the positive qualities of the variety, which have long been noted by winemakers.