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For ten years now, hail nets have been protecting many vineyards in the Austrian wine-growing region of southern Styria. Vintners and the director of the viticulture school Silberberg report on the experiences, advantages and disadvantages.

In July 2009, a hailstorm hit Erwin Tschermonegg 's vineyard in Glanz on the South Styrian Wine Route and destroyed the entire harvest in a matter of minutes. This was the trigger for the intensive study of the topic of protecting oneself with hail nets. Tschermonegg, his fellow vintner Willi Sattler from the STK (Steirische Terroir & Klassikweingüter) winery Sattlerhof in Gamlitz and the Styrian Education Centre for Fruit and Viticulture in Silberberg near Leibnitz began to systematically research the advantages and disadvantages of hail nets in the vineyards. Ing. Reinhold Holler, director of the technical school Silberberg, reports on the experiences of his trials: "At that time we covered every second row of an acre with nets. The data of the test series did not show any differences in the must and wine analysis, although the nets reduce the amount of light by ten percent. The aroma profile was rated significantly more aromatic in one tasting of the test wines for Sauvignon Blanc, but not in another. There was also no change in the aroma profile for Weissburgunder. So the net alone does not change the wine.

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