Pruning is an old 'art' dating back to Roman times.
Pruning is the method used by most vineyard owners to establish the vines capacity for the next growing season by presenting the vine in the most workable position for the new season’s growth. This is done during the dormant period of the vine which is during winter. Pruning prior to full dormancy can alter or weaken the vines capacity for fruitful production in the next season.
Pruning is the method used to help determine the time for spring growth. Generally the later a vine is pruned the later bud burst occurs. This is especially important for the different varietals and the possibility of frost incidences.
The selection of fruitful buds helps to regulate the number of bunches and their spacing in the spring.
Vines are either Cane or Spur pruned. At Catherine Vale both methods are used depending on the varietals and the vine capacity and condition. The canes health is also a determination in the type of pruning used.
• Cane Pruning – is where all growth from the present season is removed except for one healthy cane each side of the head with one renewal cane left to provide the following season’s new cane.
• Spur Pruning - is used when the vine is sufficiently fruitful and a good and consistent crop is expected seasonally. Spurs are usually positioned 10-20 cm apart with 2 buds being left on each spur.
At Catherine Vale Bill and Wendy do all the pruning which can take up to 3 months.