Friday, March 13, 2009

Head above the rest.

Hidden in this mess of mustard is a head trained vine. I do not know the varietal although I could find out as Vinomaker knows its dad. Just look at it. Brilliant! I love head trained vines. Look at the permanent structure. Cast your eye over the pruning work needing to be done. Fantastic!
The grapevine is...a vine...quelle surprise! It will twist and turn its way up a tree, or anything taller than itself, in order to reach the top and...the sunlight. Truly head trained vines give little support to the actual vine except for their own established trunk. The pruner maintains an almost cartwheel-like structure on which the fruiting spurs are renewed each year. Fabulous!
The main advantage is that it is an extremely cost effective way of training. No stakes, no trellising, and in the case of a dry farmed vineyard, no costly irrigation system. The disadvantages are many. For example, greater instances of disease, heightened pest management issues, and it's bad on your back at harvest time...but like high heels, from adversity comes great pleasure.


Thud said...

bloody wierdo!....women and shoes...I just don't get it, nice vine though.

Vinomaker said...

This is a view of vineyards past, at least in California. Tourists love to take pictures of these gnarly old vines but the reality is that this training method is very inefficient when it comes to producing quality fruit. There are a lot of older, and ususally smaller, vineyards that continue this practice since the vines are still healthy and the cost to replace them unjustified. There is also the marketing angle of wine produced from "Old Vines" as if their age played some real part in the quality. Nonsense. Admire these old timers but don't pay extra for the wine from them.

Ron Combo said...

Head trained vines, that's a new one on me.