Cover Crops and a New Pruning Regime

February 14, 2012




This is still a relatively dry winter, but we’ve been getting intermittent rain over the last few weeks that has finally kicked our cover crops into growing a little faster.

The mustard is growing the fastest at the moment, with the oats close behind. These plants are still not quite as large as they would normally be this time of year, but they should be caught up in another few weeks.

The plants in the vineyard rows are not limited to the ones we planted there, we are also getting occasional wild carpets of tiny orange calendulas all over the property.

There are a number of wildflowers to be found in our vineyards, but at the moment these are the most charismatic.

Another interesting thing to note is a change we’ve made to the way we prune our Grenache in the Bobcat Run block. You may recall that we generally prune our vines following the Guyot method, where two canes are left after pruning which are tied down to the trellis wires in an arc. On the advice of our vineyard consultant Phil Coturri, we are switching these vines over to what is known a ‘spur-pruned’ style.

With spur-pruning, a number of very short canes (the eponymous spurs) are left on the vine. The canes that the spurs are attached to are now known as 'arms' or 'cordons'. Each spur has two buds, each of which will put out a shoot in the spring which will be attached to the trellis wire above.

Since we are switching these vines over from the Guyot system, not every one of them has two canes strong enough to support the spurs, so in some cases we are leaving a cane behind that will be grown into an arm over the next year, after which it will be spur pruned.

This vine is about to make a right turn.

To visit the Amapola Creek Winery main site, please click here.


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