This week we present to you a new, unique plastic cover concept, developed and produced by Retilplast Srl, Italy: www.retilplast.it.

Those of you who visited last year’s August field day in California saw an example of this covering. In the past, the concept was that in order to gain earliness, a vineyard greenhouse should be designed like a closed vegetable greenhouse. Mr. Franco Ruggia of Retilplast Srl. refuted this concept with a specially designed polyethylene cover – PolyFilm-Plus – that diffuses sunlight and allows the passage of beneficial UV-A and UV-B light. In combination with the innovative installation system used, growers have a covering that is more user-friendly, has lower maintenance costs and reduces the temperature on hot days, compared to the traditional greenhouse systems adopted in the past.

Retiplast Open Corridor
Permanently open air ventilation corridor in middle of rows.
Retiplast corridor

Variable air corridor system:
Almost total closure in middle of rows.
 (Early Sweet Vineyard, Borquez Farm – Mexico)

Variable air corridor system:
Partial opening in middle of rows.
(Early Sweet Vineyard, Borquez Farm – Mexico)

Furthermore, vineyard growth under the PolyFilm-Plus cover is faster, healthier and stronger and when looking at the grapes’ quality under the cover, we discover that berry uniformity, size and shape are by far superior to non-covered blocks.

Pablo Borquez and his sons from Borquez Farm in Obregon, Sonora State, Mexico visited our field day last year and were very excited to see the unique plastic cover which advances the crop by 7-10 days and cools the vines in the summer heat. Pictured below is the Borquez’s Early Sweet vineyard in Obregon.

Sergio Borquez says, “This is in the south part of the state of Sonora. Campos Borquez is the only one to produce grapes in this region which has the advantage of being vast in resources like water and land, while also being very early – as early as any other region in Sonora.”

Early Sweet is known for its berry size variability and shot berry sensitivity. When grown under the PolyFilm-Plus covering, the berries grow to be uniform and clean.

Sergio Borquez carried out a comparative study at the Borquez Farm on the production of Early Sweet in an uncovered environment compared to Early Sweet production under Retilplast’s PolyFilm-Plus covering. The clear results of which can be seen in the graphs below.

The following conclusion is drawn from the aforementioned comparative study:

Conclusion on Harvesting Date

  • According to the data and phenological observations, so far it appears that we are starting around 8 days earlier on covered fields than those uncovered.
  • It is also important to note that as the graph presenting Phenological Stages shows, plastic coverage was installed a few weeks after pruning. Since the greatest impact of plastic coverage occurs at the beginning of the cycle, we believe that there is potential for significantly stronger effect if the plastic is installed on time.

Don’t miss out on these other newsletters:

ARRA Cherry Crush™

The Crush Everyone’s talking about!

Tony Calvillo, Vice President of International Business Development, Dayka & Hackett LLC, shared: “Today, we visited the ARRA Cherry Crush—a grape variety that exceeds the expectations of growers, consumers, and retailers alike. We are thrilled to witness its remarkable potential. Boasting an alluring cherry colour, impressive size, abundant production, and a perfect balance of taste and crunch, ARRA Cherry Crush creates a mutually beneficial scenario for discerning producers, consumers, and retailers.”

ARRA Fire Crunch™

Igniting the senses

Just in time for the festive season, the inaugural batch of ARRA Fire Crunch™ made its way from Peru to the USA. Karl Conrads, founder, CEO of Grapasa accompanied the first year vines from budbreak all the way to Walmart facilities in Los Angeles.

Don’t miss the footage, showing this landmark arrival, now the sky’s the limit.

ARRA Passion Fire™

Sharing the passion – Right now in Southern Africa:

“It’s a great, beautiful grape, we are having a great time packing it.” shares Gabriel Viljoen of G.P. Viljoen Farming

We’ve heard other growers excited about this year’s performance.

“The ARRA Passion Fire was probably the most beautiful red grapes around on our farms.”

ARRA Fire Kiss™

Start the season with a Kiss

This year, attendees got a firsthand look at ARRA Fire Kiss™ in Egypt. What stood out was how distinctly different it was from the Flame, leaving no doubt that it is the perfect Flame replacement.