It is hard to tell from this photograph exactly what is going on in the head of this young Pinot grigio vine, it's all a bit of a mess - and that's the point. The vines have gotten off to a great start for 2015, but that means an awful lot of adventitious buds have developed in places I didn't intend on them appearing. Hate when that happens. These adventitious buds, which generally form on older wood, are sometimes called non-count shoots. Humph, well they count for something because they generally mean a bit more extra work for me in the vineyard. So that is what I did today, thinned out the heads of the Pinot grigio (and suckered the trunks).
One should generally start to perform shoot-thinning when shoots are about 4 inches long, waiting any longer means that the base of these extra shoots may have started to lignify making removal a little more difficult. Canopy management is very important, even at this early stage in the year, as it allows more sulphur (spray) to penetrate the canopy to safeguard against powdery mildew infection. So a sunny, California Sunday afternoon was spent thinning and clearing out heads.
Next up, the Syrah vines.