Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are the most popular technical variety, cultivated mainly for the manufacture of wine industrially or in private dachas. Among gourmets, this hybrid is considered the “king of grapes”, along with Merlot and Chardonnay. We will understand the reasons for such a good reputation, and also study the nuances of planting and caring for the vine.
Hybrid Cabernet Sauvignon (Cabernet Sauvignon) was obtained by natural crosses. Breeding work was carried out in the XVII century in the Loire Valley in France. Parent varieties were white grapes Sauvignon Blanc and black Cabernet Franc. Quickly enough from the mid-19th century, the hybrid spread throughout the world. Today this delicious variety is cultivated on plantations of all warm countries in both hemispheres. Agronomists from the Mediterranean, the United States, Japan and the South American continent are especially active in its cultivation.
Description of Cabernet Sauvignon
To begin, consider what this variety is.
After ripening, the berries acquire a grassy tart taste. Such a specific taste determines the unsuitability for eating fresh fruits. Berries taste a bit like currants. The smell of fruit is characteristic solanaceous.
Approximately the same taste characteristics are also characteristic of the wine of the same name produced from the fruits of Cabernet Sauvignon. The finished drink has a complex aroma - it is pleasant, tart, with a subtle smell of nightshade.
Characteristics of berries
The fruits of the grapes are small, rounded, tightly collected in compact clusters of conical shape. In length, the brush can reach 15 cm, and in diameter - 10 cm. The color of the grapes is dark blue. The peel is dense, covered with a wax coating. In each berry 2-3 stones are formed. The weight of the bunch can reach 130 g, and the mass of one berry does not exceed 2 g.
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Advantages and disadvantages
- The presented variety is of interest to farmers for its advantages, among which are the following:
- high fruitfulness (up to 60–90 centners per 1 hectare);
- harmonious taste indices;
- suitability for the manufacture of branded alcoholic beverages and high-quality nectars;
- good winter hardiness;
- the ability to tolerate prolonged rains (bunches are able to stay on branches for long without signs of decay);
- increased resistance to ailments and parasites, often affecting the vine.
Planting Cabernet Sauvignon Grapes
To get a healthy crop, you must adhere to the standard rules of agricultural technology for growing grapes, and also take into account some features of this hybrid.
Rules for choosing seedlings
To plant Cabernet Sauvignon, take well-developed, annual or biennial seedlings. The rhizome of planting material should be sufficiently branched, up to 10 cm long, with a white core in the section. Give preference to rooted specimens with a clod of earth. The vine should have 5 to 10 eyes. The requirements for rooted cuttings are similar.
When to plant
Plant the seedlings in April or May, when the air and earth warm up to + 15 ° C. The landing time is adjusted depending on the terrain and how quickly the spring time will come. The transience of the spring season also matters.
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Choosing the right place to land
Cabernet Sauvignon grapes are a thermophilic crop that needs enough sunlight. Choose a place for its cultivation on the southern, southwestern and southeastern slopes. In the summer cottage under the vine you need to highlight the most illuminated places. If the terrain is flat, plant from south to north, and on the slopes plant rows of grapes from east to west.
How to care
In order to achieve a rich harvest, you need to competently take care of the vineyard. This includes proper top dressing, irrigation, pruning of the vine and some other points.
Every 3 years (in the autumn before digging) it is necessary to bring manure (6-8 kg per 1 m²). This fertilizer contains nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus and other trace elements useful for the vine. Use phosphorus and potash fertilizers together with manure (at the rate of 50-60 g per 1 m²). Also learn how to feed grapes in the fall. The universal nutrient that stimulates the growth and development of grape bushes is potassium humate (top-dress according to the instructions).
Every year in the spring, feed the vine with nitrogen fertilizers (3-4 g per 1 m²).
Cabernet Sauvignon hybrid does not like excess moisture, so irrigate according to the degree of drying of the soil. An excess of moisture leads to rotting of the roots and damage to their gray rot.
From a depth of 20 cm, take a handful of earth and squeeze it in a fist. If the soil is friable and does not form a lump, then the time has come for another watering.
In the first year, subject to a dry summer, water the grapes up to 4 times (4 buckets of water per plant). After each procedure, mulch the soil under the plant with 10 cm thick humus. Find out in more detail how to water the grapes correctly and how often, in the summer.
The vine requires competent pruning, because in the case of the hybrid in question, it is important not to load the plant with bunches. Trim branches for approximately 5-6 eyes. Thanks to this technique, lower kidneys will begin to form and eventually yield will increase.
Experienced farmers are advised to carry out the pruning procedure in the fall - in the spring it is advisable not to disturb the bush. If spring pruning is done carelessly and illiterate, this can ruin the vine. For beginners in the spring months it is better to limit themselves to removing old, frostbitten and broken shoots.
Formation of the plant begin from the first year of planting and spend every year. Such types of formation of the grape bush, such as fan and multi-arm fan, suggest from 4 to 8 fruit sleeves that extend from the base of the vine. In addition, stems that bear fruit should be replaced with annual branches every year.
Cabernet Sauvignon is a fairly frost-resistant hybrid. In the southern areas it is not sheltered for the winter, but in cooler countries, as well as in the northern regions, shelter is indispensable.
In winter, do not keep grapes on trellises. Better remove the vine, place on the ground, then cover with a thick layer of straw or hay. If the liana is young, it is advisable to protect it from low temperatures by drawers made of plywood or boards with pillows of grass and hay.
Important! It is forbidden to cover the vine for the winter with old parts of grape bushes. In this case, all the parasites that settled in the dried stems and leaves will be on live bushes. Pests will successfully winter under shelter, and in the spring with fresh energy they will begin to spoil the grapes.
For laying a vineyard in your area, it is preferable to have ready-grafted seedlings . In their absence, grapes can be grown by rooting cuttings. In addition, Cabernet Sauvignon is propagated by layering and grafting. But reproduction by seeds in this case is not possible - the transfer of the qualities of the mother plant during planting by seeds is 0%.
To propagate the plant by cuttings, select the same brown shoots of the same size. Cut the cuttings into fragments approximately 50 cm long with 4 shaped eyes. These fragments need to be cleaned of leaves and antennae, then immersed in water for a day. After the specified time, treat the planting material with copper sulfate to prevent mold. Cuttings are ready, now you can dig them into the ground.
The method of propagation of grapes by vaccination is to combine stock and scion. The best vaccinations are green to green, or black to black. Vaccinations can also be done last year's shoots on last year's shoots.
And another method of growing - using layering (rooted rooted stems of the bush). These stems are separated from the mother plant and used as seedlings. For growing Cabernet Sauvignon, this method is rarely used. The method is suitable for hard-rooted varieties, which cannot be said about Cabernet Sauvignon (its cuttings are able to take root quickly and without problems).
We advise you to read how to grow grapes from seed.
Diseases and Pests
Despite the high resistance of the variety to disease, preventive work should be carried out against grape and spider mites, itching and leafworms.
The result of prolonged rains may become contamination with gray rot spores. If the disease affects only the leaves, carry out the work of collecting and destroying them. But if berries are infected, noble mold may form on them, giving the wine an exquisite taste.
The mold spores of Botrytis cinerea make their way through the peel of the grapes, forming very thin cracks. As a result, the fruits are wrinkled and overgrown with mold. But this type of mold is formed exclusively in areas with a temperate climate and only under certain rare conditions: when the warm autumn air leads to the formation of moist morning fog, and throughout the day the berries have the opportunity to dry out.
Juice of Cabernet Sauvignon berries, “ennobled” by mold, differs markedly from nectar from healthy fruits of this variety. And the wine produced from noble berries is more sweet and is considered one of the rarest and most expensive in the world. It will be useful for you to find out how to transplant grapes correctly. A harmful kind of gray rot affects the fruit, provided that high humidity is not replaced by daytime heat. Long rains only aggravate the situation - the berries are intensively affected by the fungus Botrytis cinerea and rot on the vine. The disease leads to cracking of the peel of the berries and leaching of the pulp. Such clusters are unsuitable neither for fresh consumption, nor for making juice or wine.
To protect the leaves from being infected by ticks, treat the plant with a soapy solution.
Wasps are very dangerous for the hybrid in question - they like to feast on berries. Inspect the plant periodically for wasp nests. To fight, you need to install special traps, or you can cover the brush with gauze.
Preventive measures will help protect the vine and prevent the undesirable consequences of diseases and parasites. Use special chemicals (such as Ditan, Mikal, Polykhom, Ridomil Gold, Rovral, Skor, Strobi, Thanos, Tiovit, Tsineb and Efal ").
Important! The listed combined fungicides are poisonous, so the bushes should be sprayed in March and after they bloom. When treating affected bushes, all procedures must be completed a month before harvesting.
Varieties of Cabernet
In addition to Cabernet Sauvignon, there are other, no less popular hybrids of Cabernet grape variety:
- Cabernet Cortis. Grapes were created by breeders from Germany, crossing such varieties as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merzling. The berries ripen approximately 5 months after the vine has opened. The shrub yields a good crop almost every year.
- Cabernet Franc. This variety is the progenitor of Cabernet, it was from it that the most popular variety Cabernet Sauvignon was obtained. The yield of the hybrid is not the highest, but the grapes are characterized by rapid ripening of berries. The culture is most popular in northern areas, where frosts come faster.
- Cabernet North. The fruits ripen in early autumn. The brushes are small, their weight does not exceed 100 g. The growth rate of the bush is medium, the plant is undersized. The main advantage of the hybrid is frost resistance (the vine can withstand temperatures up to –26 ...– 27 ° C).
- Cabernet Carol. In this case, the yield is high, and the ripening time of the berries is average. The main difference between the variety is the late budding of buds, which indicates the resistance of grapes to spring frosts.
- Cabernet Michurinsky. The term of full ripening of berries is only 115–125 days. The brushes are small, weighing up to 100 g. The highest fruit bearing, disease resistance and high frost resistance are noted (the vine can withstand frosts down to –29 ° С).
- Cabernet Jura. Created in Switzerland. The ripening period is average. The hybrid is immune to infectious and fungal ailments.
Having studied the Cabernet Sauvignon grapes, we can conclude that this is not the easiest variety to breed. However, subject to the above rules and cautions, you can successfully harvest a rich harvest, which will become the basis for the production of fine wine.