Who would think that an icy cocoon saves grapes from ravages of frost?

on 16/11/10 at 10:50 am

Wine

"A snow cave" ... icicles form on vines at the Half Moon Wines vineyard after the frost-protection system kicks in. (Photo: Mal Sharp)

ICE like that in the picture is enough to scare any farmer.

But for the second year in a row, the frost-protection system at Half Moon Wines, at Mongarlowe, in the southern tablelands, has saved the vineyard from damaging frosts.

The system, now used by many grape farmers in cold regions, works by spraying water onto the vines, which forms icicles that protect the buds when the temperature dips below freezing. 

Inside the icicles, the temperature remains about zero, allowing the ice to insulate the buds from frost, which forms when the air temperature drops below freezing.

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