Thursday, March 5, 2009

Out in the vineyard, it's time to prune

So what is happening in your favorite vineyard long about now? More perhaps than you realized. Write sowner and winemaker Joanne Levengood in the latest e-blast from Manatawny Creek Winery in Douglassville, Pa.:

"What is happening in the vineyard during the winter? The grapevines go dormant in November and will remain in their dormant state until budbreak sometime in late April or early May. While the vines are dormant, pruning takes place. Pruning is a huge job where each of the approximately 25 shoots per vine are cut back to 2 buds. These 2 buds contain the 2 shoots for the next growing season and there are typically 2 grape clusters per shoot. Pruning is necessary in order to maintain the size and shape of the vine and to ensure consistent productivity. If a vine is left unpruned, it will become unruly and out of control, fruit production will decrease, and the quality of the fruit will severely decline due to too much vegetation. The best quality grapes are from a balanced grapevine and pruning is essential to achieve this balance."

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