Yo, listen up, fam! I got some dope news for all you wine and hemp enthusiasts out there. Check it, this research study done in a Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc vineyard in New Zealand found that hemp is the real deal when it comes to cover crops. My girl Kristy Harkness, a badass grape grower, and Dr. Mark Krasnow, a straight-up viticulture researcher, spent three whole years studying this shiz and they found that hemp don’t mess with them vines and actually helps the soil and the wine. Talk about a win-win situation, right?
So here’s the deal. During dry seasons, when other crops couldn’t handle the heat and straight-up died, hemp was out here thriving without any extra water. That’s some next-level resilience, my dudes. And it gets even better. Not only did hemp not mess with the grapes, but it actually improved the quality of the wine compared to grapes that were grown without hemp by their side. That’s some mind-blowing stuff right there.
Now, this ain’t just good news for our Kiwi friends down in New Zealand. Nah, fam, this has some major implications for us folks here in Cali too. We got booming wine and hemp markets over here, so these findings could be a game-changer for both industries. Imagine vineyards in Cali rocking some hemp cover crops, producing top-notch grapes, conserving water, and being more bee-friendly. That’s like a dream come true, man.
Alright, let me break it down for you on how they did this study. Harkness and Krasnow planted some industrial hemp seeds right in the middle of the vineyard rows. And guess what? These hemp plants didn’t need no extra watering or babying. They grew big-ass roots that went at least 30 cm deep into the soil, helping with compaction caused by all the vineyard operations. That’s some serious problem-solving right there.
But wait, it gets even more interesting. The wine produced from grapes that grew alongside hemp had a higher diversity of yeast species compared to the control group. And you know what that means? Better tasting wine, baby! I don’t know about you, but I’m all in for some dank wine that’s got that extra flavor punch.
Now, there was one thing that surprised these researchers. Even though hemp plants can grow pretty darn big, they didn’t compete with the grapes. In fact, they found that mixing hemp with other cover crops like clover and buckwheat could be a major win for vineyards. It not only improves grape quality and reduces the need for extra inputs, but it also helps with soil compaction caused by those tractor wheel tracks. That’s a major win-win situation right there, my peeps.
So picture this: a vineyard where you ain’t gotta sow no grass and do no mowing. Instead, you can sow a mix of cover crops including hemp, which would be rolled over less when the vineyard crew walks down the rows. This new option would save water, be more friendly to bees, use less diesel, and be more cost-efficient. And let’s keep it real, mowing ain’t doing no favors for the soil anyway.
According to these researchers, more grape growers should start experimenting with hemp as a cover crop or part of a diverse mix of cover crops. It’s got the potential to improve soil health, enhance wine quality, and even provide an extra income stream for these growers. But hold up, there’s still more work to be done on understanding how hemp might affect wine quality and whether it picks up any funky flavors from those dank hemp plants nearby.
So there you have it, folks. Hemp is making moves in the vineyard game and showing some serious promise. It’s all about that green revolution, my friends. Let’s keep pushing the boundaries, exploring new possibilities, and raising a glass to the future of wine and hemp. Cheers!