Vineyard Year – Winter Pruning

March 19th, 2018

During the Winter, the vines lie dormant and conversation turns to the subject of Winter Pruning, ‘Cane’ as opposed to ‘Spur’ pruning in our case, who’s objective is to limit the yield from the vine by selecting only two suitable canes from the previous years growth, with the optimum number and spacing of nodes containing the embryo buds and inflorescences, crucial to the coming years crop. We take care to allow for the removal of unwanted buds on the underside of the cane, thereby spacing to encourage optimum growth of the shoots which will go on to photosynthesise and produce the sugars in the coming seasons fruit.

Seemingly endless piles of discarded canes begin to mount up within the rows, which in themselves represent a significant disposal problem. Many French pruners burn these as they go, in wheel barrows custom mounted with a half drum – apparently it gives off welcome heat to warm the weary pruners hands and provides a useful portable barbecue come lunch break. Pruning is closely followed by the process of tying down or binding the canes to the fruiting wires of the trellis. The work is exacting, but softened by the anticipation of warmer days and a time of renewal ahead.

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