There vine pruning it is a very important operation for the correct creation of a good wine. And, unfortunately for all newbies to the subject, it is also a delicate and complex issue, because it not only consists of cutting branches and shoots, but it must also be directed towards a very specific form within its own structure.
In short, a real fundamental element for theobtaining a good wine.
Even without pretending to be exhaustive, we try to understand - in this article - how you can do it correctly with the best techniques and containing the risk of errors!
Why prune the vine
There lives it is a plant present in many varieties and ... whose pruning must be aimed at a very specific purpose: to allow the vine to be kept in good health, thus favoring the formation of quality grapes.
Which, in other words, means allowing the vine to be able to resist even the most impervious climatic conditions, and be well structured from an aesthetic point of view, as well as quantitative (that is, they regulate the number of grape-producing buds).
How to prune the vine
Although many of the steps of pruning the vine are similar to those of other fruit trees, pruning can be performed using two different types of cutting.
The first is a simple cut, mainly used to produce wine for sale. The second is a permanent cord cut, used and appreciated especially for small vineyards.
Simple vine pruning technique
There simple technique of pruning the vine consists in eliminating most of the branches of the vine, with the exception of the thicker and more resistant one, that is, the pin on which the production of grapes will then depend.
Along with this is also left a branch that will contain a few buds, called spur, which will be the backbone for the production of the following year.
By proceeding in this way, it will be possible to program the entire evolution of production in a simple and orderly way.
Read also: Apple tree pruning, an introduction on how to do it correctly
Permanent cordon technique for pruning the vine
Although it has similar objectives, this technique differs from the previous one in the form in which it is presented. In fact, it is possible that the buds are left or removed, influencing a pruning that can be time by time short (performed on vines characterized by a high productivity of the buds placed at the base) or long (performed on plants with high production of buds at the apex).
The permanent cord technique itself will be carried out on short pruning. On the other hand, the technique of renewal shoots will be used for long pruning.
In particular, the:
- permanent cord technique it allows to generate shoots of various sizes and dimensions, which when ripe will become fruiting strains, which are responsible for the production of grapes;
- technique of the renewal shoot involves making cuts to the shoots of different lengths, with the aim of creating new fruiting heads from which the clusters will arise and any cuts to superfluous and non-productive shoots.
When to prune the vine
Depending on the purposes of the pruning of the vine and the stage of development of the plant, it is advisable to proceed with this operation at the end of winter or in summer.
In particular, towards the end of winter (therefore, around February) it could be useful to intervene on plants damaged by previous climatic conditions. In this case, you can also proceed with giving the right shape to the plant.
On the other hand, towards thesummer it will be possible to proceed to eliminate the parts of vegetation considered superfluous for the productivity of the vine, because they could be damaged or weaken the plant. It is in this period that, as a rule, we proceed with suckling, crushing and defoliation activities.
What you need to do the pruning of the vine
As we anticipated, the pruning of the vine it certainly does not represent a simple operation and, indeed, supervision or direct intervention by an expert is strongly recommended.
If you want to proceed with a do-it-yourself pruning, you should still have some basic equipment such as:
- pruning shears (also electric, for more comfortable work);
- curved blade scissors;
- pruning toppers;
On the sidelines of our in-depth study on the pruning of the vine, we cannot fail to return once again to the importance of this activity, and underline how very often the quality of a fine fine wine depends precisely on the way in which it is carried out. intervention.
It should also be borne in mind that - as should be easily understood from the previous lines - we are dealing with an extremely delicate, complex and specific procedure. In fact, it is not simply a matter of cutting some installments and shoots, but of deciding where and how to intervene, in order to give a precise and well-kept shape to one's viticultural structure.
In short, it is an activity that should be carried out in a workmanlike manner, because the production of a wine of excellence may depend on its awareness and careful implementation.
It is also for these reasons that our suggestion can only be that of resorting to the full advice of an expert gardener, who, after having supervised your viticultural structure and having shared the objectives to be achieved with you, can accompany you step by step towards a correct carrying out the pruning and, consequently, the possibility of obtaining the maximum results from this intervention.
The periodic rereading of this in-depth study will however allow you to have those knowledge bases that will certainly be useful for you to take the next steps in this topic. Good luck!