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Earlco farms vineyards for clients. These farming activities are carried out trough various business arrangements that are individually tailored to the needs of each client. The arrangements can take many forms, but generally fall into the broad categories of:

  • Lease agreements, whereby we lease the vineyard from our clients. We enter into a crop sharing agreements under which we pay for all annual operating expenditure and receive a fixed percentage of the crop preceeds.
  • Custom arrangements to assist clients with labour requirments and/or mechanized assistance, such as a spray program or weed control processes.

Risk sharing with our clients is a common theme for all our client agreements. Our experience shows us that each growing season is different; some good, some bad. We craft agreements such that in bad years Earlco shares in the reduced revenues from grape sales. But in good years Earlco participates in the increased revenues. In these scenarios we base our fee on the vineyard acreage.

Under our vineyard management contracts we carry out the following services:

Pruning

Annual pruning, cleaning, de-clipping

Tying

Tying vines to training wires, tying trunks to bamboo

Planting

New vines, bamboo, cartons, transplanting, layering

Gophers

Rodent control procedures

Irrigation

Maintenance, repair, checking, winterizing, installation

Canopy Spray

Fertilization, fungicide and pesticide application

Hedging

Trimming canopy by tractor/hand

Design

Design of new, layout for posts, irrigation, etc.

Netting

Placing bird netting, clipping, lifting, removing and storing

Harvest

Picking, managing/caring for tubs/bins/snips, weighing, loading

Fruit Management

Leaf thinning, lateral removal and fruit drop

Soil Management

Tilting, cultivating, composting, spreading fertilizer

Canopy Management

Desucker, repsoition wires, shoot thin, tucking and shoot positioning

Trellis Maintenance

Repairs and maintenance, tightening wires, replacing posts & nails

Marketing

Our long term network in the wine industry makes sure your grapes achieve above average prices

Weed/Grass Control

Sweep, rake, mulch, mow eaters, herbicide application

Custom arrangements are developed through discussion and agreement with clients. Many clients may only wish for one or some of the above services carried out by Earlco. In these cases we provide our services on a rate per hour basis.

Planting new vineyards or replanting existing vineyards is a significant part of our custom arrangements.

Care for an environment and safety are key themes in our operations. For the environment we limit the use of herbicides and pesticides as much as possible. We invest in advanced vineyard machinery to limit the use of sprays and our selection of modern vineyard tractors enables us to work in steep and tight vineyards safely and efficiently. In all our vineyard management arrangements we have one of our Management Team be the contact. This way our clients have one source of regular communication and feedback.