Friday, March 04, 2016

Orange you glad it's budbreak?

It was a busy day in the neighbourhood, well, this morning at least, then rain stopped play. And it rained hard all afternoon.  I did not manage to get anything pruned today and the forecast for the weekend is less than favourable for that particular vineyard activity.
The Far Niente vineyard crew have been pruning up a storm since Monday and thankfully, for them, it looks like they finished early this afternoon.  Interestingly, they did not pre-prune (aka double pruning or delayed pruning) this year, instead they pruned all the way down to two bud spurs to finish the job.  Probably the reason why they have been pruning in the one vineyard all week.
The general viticultural-consensus has it that pre-pruning can help stave off infection from Eutypa lata, a fungal disease of the grapevine. This year, the vineyard manager at TWWIAGE has also decided to forego pre-pruning in favour of a quick application of a fungicide, at pruning, that will hopefully prevent new infection in spurs and cordons.
It did stay dry long enough this morning for me to notice that budbreak has well and truly begun in the Orange Muscat vines (slightly later than last year), and bud swell in the Pinot grigio.  I need to get my skates on. Or, perhaps, a pair of water skis.


Dennis Tsiorbas said...

Wow, all that rain, and snow in the mountains! Any word on how well this water is mitigating the drought?
I was doing a google image search on vineyards the other day, and many vinodog pictures were among them; it was lots of fun following the links back almost six years ago into "Vinsanity", it is a real treasure; thanks for all the effort you've put into this blog.

Dennis Tsiorbas said...

VG: if this is interesting to you, I'll be glad to fix-up the link?
"Decisions on how a vineyard is pruned is the farmer's first opportunity to get the growing season started right. Pruning to control the number of buds on the vine appears to be the most effective way to control both the intensity of the vegetal aromas as well as eliminating some tannic bitterness and astringency. The number of buds left on the vines should be based on the water available and fertility level of the soil. The way the vine is pruned will help determine how vigorous the growth will be. Bull canes have higher, more vigorous green growth while the balanced canes have a steadier growth leading to better quality fruit. Straight up and down, more evenly spaced shoots allow for more even sunlight and more uniformity in the grapes' ripening."

Vinogirl said...

NHW: Well, they say it will take more than one wet season to make up for 3+ dry years, but I think this winter's rainfall is a good start.

Were you on Google Images? I come across my photographs myself sometimes and it makes me smile. Was looking for a print from my darkroom class the other day and came across one of Vinodog 1 - still miss her. I am glad you enjoy my blog.

Vinoland's vines are all head trained so that I can control the number of buds, and subsequent crop, on each vine. Cordon training does not allow the same amount of flexibility/control from vintage to vintage. Pruning is the single most important thing that one can do to a vine. Glad to see you are taking an interest in viticulture.

Dennis Tsiorbas said...

Rain & snow: Every deluge helps!
I'm a rambling google researcher, so I don't remember which image searches I followed, but from grape pruning to Cali vineyard dogs you're sure to see Vinodog 1 and 2! Always a fun search though!
My interest in viticulture is hindered by my hands on learning techniques; I seldom read instruction manuals, they just confuse me. I was watching some Italian pruning video the other day, but this guy just slashed his way through the process, way too fast for me to glean much, except to marvel at how much damage he was doing!