We are almost finished pruning! You cannot believe what happy campers we are around here! We have pruned 30 1/3 acres and only have 2 more to go – one more day.
I always love how clean the vineyard looks after hand pruning is completed. There is vine trash in the middle of the rows but that will be taken care of with the flail mower.
It is amazing that this year, bud break is a whole month earlier than last year. It must be because of all the warm weather we have had here in west Texas. Some days have been in the 90°F!
The last 2 acres we have to prune are the Aglianico vines planted in 2015. They have definitely budded out quite a bit as you can see below.
This makes pruning a bit slower because those little green buds are so fragile. They are very easy to knock off and they means we lose fruit. So, everyone goes slower to be more careful.
Now to see an Algianico vine up close and personal. Just look at all those shoots with green leaves.
In the older plantings, you can also see quite a bit of green.
You might wonder why we prune so much. Here is an example of a vine pushing to produce as much fruit as possible. The arrows point to the bloom clusters – each bud in the vine below has 2 clusters of fruit!
If we left that many bloom clusters, we would produce 35 tons of grapes per acre! While that sounds awesome, the reality is that the vines would not be able to ripen that much fruit.
We would be left with a lot of unripe grapes that the wineries would not be able to use!
Here is a photo of buds that were left – you can see the bloom clusters on each of them!
Of the older vines, the Moscato Giallo has budded out the most followed by the Petit Verdot. Both of these are earlier bud breaking varieties so it is to be expected.
Roussane, Aglianico and Montepulciano are late bud bud breaking varieties but even they are already budding out!
We are looking forward to a good growing season and toward harvest. But for now, we are almost finished pruning, and then we will fertilize, shred the trash in the rows, and prepare for planting 5 new acres!
Whew, I’m tired just thinking about it all! 😉