Winter Pruning

January 16, 2012




Today we began pruning our Estate vineyards in preparation for the Spring. As you may recall, we began pruning some of the Cabernet Sauvignon vines down in the China Bowl recently in order to prepare them for T-budding in the Spring.

Winter pruning is a slightly different process. In the case of the pruning we did in the China Bowl, we were trying to set the vines up so they would grow vigorously and produce a lot of vegetation in the Spring. In the case of the vines we are working on today, we are trying to set the vines up to create a balanced canopy that will produce high-quality fruit. This is what one of the vines looks like after normal winter pruning;

There are many different pruning methods that can be used for shaping and trellising grapevines. In the Amapola Creek estate vineyards, we use the 'Guyot' system, which leaves two canes on every vine, each of which has 7 or 8 buds on it (buds are the little bumps you can see every few inches along the canes, each of these will push a shoot out in the Spring). Later on this winter, vineyard workers will tie the end of each cane down to the trellis wire, forming them into arcs. In the Spring, the buds will push and the green shoots will be draped over trellis wires that are higher up (outside the frame of the picture). The fruit will hang down in the open area that the naked canes are currently occupying. Each shoot will have one or two clusters on it, so each vine will probably yield somewhere between 20 and 30 clusters of grapes.

We always start pruning at the top of the property in the Montana Vista block. Here is what the block looked like before pruning,

A little messy, as is normal in winter.

And here is what it looks like after,

A little cleaner post-pruning. The canes that were dropped on the ground will be gathered and burned after the next rains.

To visit the Amapola Creek Winery website, please click here.


One Response to “Winter Pruning”

  1. […] may recall from a previous post that we train our vines according to the Guyot system. Pruning the vine back to two canes is the […]

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