HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE The backend of September and into October we have dropped the canopy wires and now are shoot thinning, whereby, we thin out excess buds on the vines. Buds grow on a ‘spur’ and we want 2 buds per spur, everything else including bud doubles, those in the crown, cordon and trunk all get ‘flicked’ off. In saying that, we will keep a bud that may be a better ‘spur’ bud option (i.e. closer to the cordon) that would be for next year’s growth.
So a few decisions have to be made at each spur and with approximately 12-16 spurs per vine and 2000 vines that equates to 14 x 2000 = 28,000 decisions! And we will do another run later to remove any late bloomer buds, or god forbid ones that I have missed!
We shoot thin so that we can control the amount of fruit a vine produces; it also encourages a ‘healthy’ vine, whereby it has room to grow without foliage competition, getting plenty of sunlight and airflow. The clean spur with 2 buds will grow and bear 2 bunches of grapes each. This helps in estimating crop tonnage so that we know roughly how much fruit/wine we are going to make, how many barrels we need, planning resources and logistics for harvest and scheduling crush time at the winery. October 2016 Newsletter