Slate residue on vineyards

The responsible use of water is more important than ever, especially in agriculture.

The newspaper La Voz de Galicia reports on new research into how to reduce water consumption in the wine sector. This pioneering project in Spain is being carried out jointly by the University of Santiago de Compostela and the Institute of Vine and Wine Sciences of La Rioja.

The idea is to find out whether the use of slate waste can retain water in the soil and thus combat the high temperatures that cause, among other things, an excessive increase in the alcohol content of the grapes, thus altering the quality of the wine.
The technique would be simple: place the remains of slate at the base of the vine.
There is already a vineyard with these characteristics in the Quiroga area (Lugo) and although it is still in the experimental phase (after 2 harvests), the benefits are already being felt:

  • retention of moisture in the vineyard ;
  • no grass grows, so no herbicides are used;
    Furthermore, according to one of the researchers, the ripening process of the grapes is slowed down with this new technique and the alcohol content of the grapes is slightly reduced compared to grapes without slate.
    If the results of the research are conclusive, this would be an important step in the management of vineyard irrigation, but we would also find a new use for natural slate, a material that does not alter the characteristics of the vine or the qualities of the grapes.
    Wine and slate, a good combination.
La imagen tiene un atributo ALT vacío; su nombre de archivo es image.png
Photo courtesy of – La Voz de Galicia – vines with slate remains.

Source: Newspaper La Voz de Galicia.