Friday, December 12, 2008

Prune in haste, repent at leisure.

Vinodog 1 and I just took our daily constitutional, (V2 went for a ride with her dad). I took along my camera as I had noticed yesterday that the vineyard over the road was undergoing an annual ritual, pruning, or rather pre-pruning. I was surprised when I saw this for two reasons. Firstly, most vineyard workers have already left for Mexico for a month long Christmas holiday but there some were, pruning and chatting away. Secondly, pruning before the winter rains have even begun in earnest can invite nasty pathogens, e.g. Eutypa lata, that are delivered onto the pruning wounds by the aforementioned precipitation. Admittedly pre-pruning means the skilled pruners will come back late in the winter or early spring and make the final cuts/selections so that any infected wood would be removed. Still, it all seems a little hasty, especially for Far Niente, whose Chardonnay vineyard this is. Considering their lofty reputation, and the price of their wines, I would have thought they would have delayed pruning as late as possible. I would expect most high end wineries to employ cultural practices that aid in the reduction of disease or damage to their vines. I do, but my vines are not cordon trained like theirs, they are head trained, a training system that further minimises infection. I believe delaying pruning would probably be the better farming practice but then again, I just may be lazy.


Nick Oakley said...

Great notes about early pruning, a very useful insight for this current MW student. Cannot find any way of contacting you on the blog, can you make contact with me?

I often see your posts on wineanorak, and like some of your observations both in the vineyard and the winery (like the recent mention of sulphur producing yeasts) - these little gems are solid gold for someone in my position.

If you can help I'm on

Unknown said...

Just read your posting about our vineyards. Thank you for your insight. I would love a chance to chat with you about this topic in more detail. Perhaps we could conduct a vinsanity one-on-one interview. Either way, don't be a stranger...stop by and say hi whenever you see us out there. I will keep a few treats for the vinodogs in my truck.

Vinogirl said...

Aaron, hope I didn't offend you. There are many ways to get to a great glass of wine. You'll probably recognise the vinodogs before I'll see you out there.