We’re just about half-way through pruning, which is pretty good going considering we’re just at the end of January.
We’ve been lucky and have had a marvellous run with the weather during this month; lots of cold frosty days that make for perfect pruning weather.
Pruning in the rain is a big no-no. We don’t do it, mainly because trunk pathogens infect primarily through rain induced spore release. Some will say.. “how can you not prune in the rain? It’s England it always rains.” However, we cut all the old canes away when it is dry and leave all the tying down for when it’s wet! This gives the vine time to heal the wound where it was pruned, and also enables our staff to be kept busy all the time, come rain, frost or snow! It’s a win-win situation.
This is particularly important for us, as most of you will know by now that all our casual staff are locals. If we can keep these people busy for longer we can retain them.
The beauty of having a local labour force comes into play at pruning time. Pruning is an art and takes years to master, even a skilled pruner will occasionally be stumped by a vine. Some vines conform and others are just that little bit trickier. By having this local seasonal labour force, who will hopefully come back year-on-year we can nurture a skilled workforce. Virtually everyone who is pruning also worked the harvest so we’re slowly building those skills levels in our core seasonal team.
On another note we’ll all be sad to see Rick leave us early next month. He has been an integral part of the vineyard team for the last 4 years. All the best for your new life in Tasmania.