Monday, January 08, 2007

Pruning Update

We got off to a good start this weekend on pruning.

The weather was excellent, cold, but clear no rain or damp fog that can making pruning so difficult. Even the ground was ok, a little mud but not too much. Some years the combination of mud and grass gets so bad that we joke about "adobe boots". You have to stop every 15 minutes or so and work the mud off your boots to go on.

Saturday we got the entire Elandrich Vineyard done, all sections, about 2 acres total and still had time to get Kathy and Millie home done as well. The vineyard looked really nice, and it was especially nice to have no signs of Powdery Mildew, after fighting it so hard in 2004 and 2005. There is still one section of Cabernet that is lagging behind, but everything else looks great. We pruned mostly to a single bud per shoot. That's pretty severe pruning, most people leave 2-3 per shoot.

I like the dappled sunlight and better airflow though that this severe pruning allows. It also means I don't have to go through in August and drop a lot of fruit trying to get the rest to ripen. Or pull a lot of leafs off to let sunlight in. Basically I'm doing all that work now. This lets the vine naturally concentrates all it's energy on the fewer bunches. I end up with 1.5-2 tons per acre vs 4-5 tons per acre for most places and super concentrated fruit.

Sunday we finished most of the Llama Vineyard, just a few rows to go there this week. What a drastic change in this vineyard from the real mess we took over. Now all the vines have reestablished trunks and proper V.S.P. training. We should get our first good yield from this vineyard this year, even though it needs about 70 plants still replanted.

It was nice to have mother nature cooperating, we're off to a great start this year.

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