Rathfinny Wine Estate

Pruning 101

We’re still Pruning and it was suggested that we try and explain why we prune and how we prune the vines so what better way to do this than with a short video…

So we have produced a short video on pruning, with Rick Burrows from the vineyard explaining how, and why we prune:

http://youtu.be/jZ8leB52c7M

While all the tasks in the vineyard are important nothing is more critical than pruning. There are a four main reasons we prune:

  1. Maintain vine form- basically how the vine grows. Grapevines are in their natural habitat climbers. They climb by attaching themselves to supports with tendrils. In the commercial world we cant just let the vine do what it wants, so the vines are trained and pruned upright onto the trellis support structure – the posts and wires. This enables the vine to retain roughly the same shape year on year in order to make our operations more efficient, things like spraying and harvest would be a nightmare with big bushy vines growing everywhere.
  2. To regulate the number and positions of shoots on the vine, and thus the bunch number and size. By pruning, we remove buds that would otherwise become new shoots, and then fruit come summer. We limit the total number of buds, so concentrating the growth and energy into the remaining shoots therefore guaranteeing better fruit position on the vine. I.e. in an area that it can get plenty of sunlight rather than tucked away in a dense canopy.
  3. Improve fruit quality and stabilise production over time. A vine has the capacity to only produce a certain quantity of fruit. Its capacity to do so is largely dependent on the ratio of fruit to leaf area and photosynthetic activity. By limiting the number of potential shoots when pruning, we are looking to produce the maximum crop of good quality without delaying maturity year after year. If we have too much crop on the vine it won’t ripen!
  4. Improve bud fruitfulness by bud selection and placement. Improvement of bud fruitfulness occurs when healthy wood with bubs that have been exposed to sunlight are selected.

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