Saturday, January 10, 2009

Canopy Management

I started canopy management yesterday. Most people call it pruning, but as I was cutting the vines, I remembered the problem areas from last year and spent extra time visualizing the growth.

There were plants with spurs too close together that I opened up and some on the upper hillside that are shaded thru much of the day that needed thinning. Proper pruning now means less time going back and cutting green growth.

One thing I've learned for certain is that the vines will grow no matter what you do to them, they persevere. A bad prune job, they grow anyway. Bad training, they grow anyway. Too close together or spaced too far apart, they grow anyway.

I like that as I'm working with each plant, it will tell me what it wants. When I pull a cane down to retrain the cordon, it will let me pull the one that is directionally meant to be used. With little or no resistance.

As I was working yesterday I kept myself amused by thinking of past day jobs and the trivial annoyances of working in an office environment. Nobody jammed the photocopier yesterday, the printer didn't run out of toner, no worries about the fax machine paper supply, I didn't have to drink bad coffee, and there were no extra perky in-your-face-first-thing-in-the-morning people with their sing-songy Good Mornings.

Just me, Gerry, the clippers, and the vines.

We're heading out again this morning, with Paul, Kathy, Millie, and Truffles, and Gerry will bring Estella with him. We'll finish Arastradero then make our way up the hill to Vista Verde to get started. With this size crew today we may even finish VV. I'll make sure that Paul takes pics while we're there so he can upload them tonight.


Mike Duffy said...

A nice post, a little vinyard management and a little philosophy. You make it sound *very* attractive to be out pruning.

I look forward to seeing the pictures in a subsequent post.

Stefania said...

Hi Mike,

The alone time with the vines is very attractive indeed, especially if you have spent any time at all cooped up in an office.

I've always said that this time of the year is my favorite in the vineyard, it's good for perspective.

Paul reminded me I still need "after" pictures of the home vineyard, but we haven't done anything yet, we're waiting til March to put in the vines.

Cheers, Stefania