Well pruning has well and truly come to an end for 2014! Each year we celebrate the end of pruning with a BBQ, beers and wines at the top of the hill in the middle of the vineyards next to the cemetery. This year was a particularly beautiful day, more of a beer drinking day!
Each year Dominic our vineyard hand gets together about 8 or so people to hand prune the vineyard, it takes them about 3 months to get over the 250 acres. Most of the guys use electric snips these days to get through bigger cuts and look after their hands. Pruning can be a tough job when it’s cold and rainy but on beautiful days you wouldn’t want to be anywhere else!
We prune each block and variety differently. Whites we aim for yield (4-5 tons per acre) and reds (2 tons per acre) but it can vary depending on what wine the block is aimed for. With the reds we use mainly spurs, leaving two buds and occasionally we use a ‘cock rod’ which has five buds left on it. The reason we use the cock rods is to open up the canopy and keep the cropping levels up on a old vine that has a lot of dead arm (This is a disease – Eutypa- that grows in very old vines which results in the arms dying and they don’t produce any fruit).
When pruning white grape varieties we aim for higher crop levels so therefore leave more buds.
So we have just finished pruning and you should be able to see produce of what we have just pruned in the form of bottle wine in 2017! I know it’s so long away, but worth it!