Founded in 1895 with the aim of helping the Beaujolais winegrowers protect their vines, Berthoud has built an exceptional legacy as one of the best vineyard sprayer manufacturers. Its champion sprayer the trailed over the row Win’Air is an easy-to-handle and compact sprayer which is available in four capacities of 600, 800 1,000 and 1,500 litre.
The Speedair and Supair evolution fan systems include a front intake to prevent the spray mixture from being sucked back in. While the fully hydraulic AB Most drop leg boom sections can cover up to 2 and a half rows and will easily adjust to varying row widths.
We caught up with Albury Organic Vineyard’s estate manager Alex Valsecchi and vineyard manager Dominic Travers, to find out more about the Berthoud Win’Air.
Located in the Surrey Hills, just outside Guildford, Albury’s home vineyard comprises 5ha of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier, as well as some Seyval and Pinot Gris. There is also an additional 3.5ha of vines planted on another site next door.
Committed to growing organically, and biodynamically, Alex and Dominic need to remain on the ball when it comes to spraying and keeping disease pressure at bay.
As an accredited member of the Sustainable Wines of Great Britain scheme, the team also carefully considers the environmental impact of everything they do.
“We have a lot of ground to cover and were looking for a sprayer which would help us reduce the number of passes we needed to do,” said Alex. “The Win’Air can spray 2 and a half rows at once. From a sustainability point of view, that’s significantly less fuel required, fewer labour costs and also less compaction because we alternate the rows we do drive on. From a time point of view too, it will help us to cover our larger area even in the short spray windows we often get.”
Being limited to the products they are able to use, when organic growers do spray they need to know that what they are applying will be as effective as possible, so, reliable and uniform coverage is key.
“You can visibly see straight away how well the Win’Air blasts through both sides and penetrates the canopy,” said Dominic. “The Albuz nozzles are more effective too as they’re at a slight angle so that the spray is directed in when you drive forward meaning there’s less drift and better application.”
The team also still has the use of their original Berthoud single tower sprayer which not only allows them to have two sprayers going at the same time, it also helps them to keep their biodynamic and organic preparations separate.
“When it comes to spraying, this year is going to be a piece of cake,” said Alex. “Steve delivered the sprayer and helped us to set everything up. He explains things very well and I learnt a lot from him on how the machine works and what we need to do to keep it well maintained. Plus I know we can always pick up the phone if we have any other questions. I have known Nick for over 20 years and NP Seymour are not just machinery dealers, they are engineers, they know how everything works, they’re trustworthy and will never send out a machine that’s not in good working order.”