Winter Pruning In Full Swing

February 20th, 2010

Work in the vineyard continues with winter pruning. We are daily moving through the rows of vines, selecting the three or four most suitable canes, according to strength, inter nodal length (that’s the distance between buds), cane height (to help with setting the ideal crown position and suitability for tying down (we want to avoid the sound of snapping canes when tie down begins. Much debate is had over the merits of our new electronic secateurs versus the trusted and handy Falco hand powered ones. One thing is certain, the electronic version certainly educes the repetitive hand strain that otherwise leaves a constant tingling in the hand! Significant piles of prunings are building up in each lane which will need to be removed and burned or set aside as kindling wood for use in our wood burners. Allegedly French vineyard workers prune at 150+ vines per hour. That’s some rate I can tell you, we are currently working at around the 100 mark, but with experience and the evolution of each vine, we expect to improve. We are pruning the vines in a double Guyot style for the first time this year. This involves removing the two year old cane, and most of last years growth. The two canes on either side closest to the proposed crown location are pruned to leave a two node spur for next year and the cane further away is left intact and shortened ready to be bent down either side of the main trunk of the vine for this year. At the same time, damaged rabbit guards are removed and replaced to ensure continued protection.

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