Pruning is an often overlooked but essential aspect for the growth and quality of a vineyard. It usually involves removing branches, foliage, and fruit in order to reduce the amount of crop the vines produce. While this may seem counter-intuitive, too much crop can actually be a bad thing. When a vine produces a lot of grapes, the flavor is spread out and therefore less concentrated and intense. Pruning readies the vineyard for the growing season, prevents vine overcrowding, and thwarts any rot or mildew.
Pruning strategies depend heavily on the vine training system you use, as well as the climate among other things. For the last four years, Captain Vineyards has used cane pruning, which targets last year's growth. When you prune is also a very important consideration; prune too early and you could severely damage new growth, but prune too late and new shoots will be set behind in growth.
Pruning has been an essential and mandatory part our process for the last eighteen years of our existence. We do not discard the branches after pruning, but instead recycle them, like everything else in the vineyard. They are shredded and then scattered throughout the vineyard to improve soil quality and erosion control.
Blog Researched Written & Published by Lily Captain