In writing last week’s post, I missed an adverb- kind of, sort of. I had the Who (Naggiar), What (pruning), When (starting last week), Where (the vineyards starting around the pond and winery), Why (to set up for a healthy growing season), but I stopped short of the How. The how’s of pruning could easily fill a year’s worth of my once-a-week posts, let alone add on to a post that was already at 700 words (about 150 words past where my eyes start to glaze over). To shorten it from a dissertation to a more manageable post, I will go over pruning styles we use at Naggiar. So cue music… this is how we do it.
At Naggiar, we use four different pruning methods that give us four different trellis types. We use predominantly single and double curtain types (pictures and description to follow) but also use rotator type and cane pruning. These trellis types work best at Naggiar for multiple reasons- vigor of the vines, desired crop load, exposure to sun, varietals grown. Single curtain, also known as VSP (vertical shoot position) has a single cordon (arm) going off both sides of the trunk (bilateral). On the cordon, there are multiple spurs (fingers) that over time get longer and longer. It is off these spurs that the buds develop becoming the shoots of the vine.
This is bi-lateral spur pruning
We are working away from the single curtain VSP- currently, we use it on our Bordeaux varietals.
The double curtain is essentially two of the single curtains.
When we are looking for higher production or we are dealing with more vigorous rootstock, we use the double curtain.
The rotator is used where we try to mimic a head-trained vine (no cordons, just spurs coming off the trunk of the vine- think old-school vines), but with a more efficient use of space. Spurs come off the cordon first in one direction, then the other and then back again.
When we are dealing with well-balanced vines that require a lot of airflow and dappled light, we use rotator.
The cane pruned vine is where fresh one year old wood is turned over every year, never developing the longer spurs.
The little bit of cane pruning we have on the property is planted with our Muscat Canelli.
There you have it- the How in just over 400 words. Although if a picture is worth a thousand words, then I’m at 7407.